A 30-year-old man dealing dope in Minneapolis was convicted of murder for selling to an intermediary the heroin that killed a 19-year-old woman in a home in Little Falls.
Jurors in Morrison County District Court found Keon “Bird” Mangun guilty Wednesday of third-degree murder in the Feb. 28, 2012, death of Miranda Gosiak of rural Little Falls.
Two other people have been convicted of felonies in Gosiak’s death, and another was charged and has been a fugitive since his trial date in early September came and went.
Prosecutors say that Mangun sold the heroin to Brandon Bedford in north Minneapolis on Feb. 27, 2012. Bedford then provided the heroin to Gosiak that night and into the next day, causing her to overdose at the home of Tanya Ashby, 39, and her boyfriend, Christian Dahn, 31.
The three-day trial ended Wednesday evening with the jurors’ verdict. They deliberated for about three hours.
Sentencing of Mangun is scheduled for Nov. 27. State guidelines call for a term of more than 11 years.
‘Victory in war on heroin’
Assistant County Attorney Todd Kosovich, who prosecuted the case, called the verdict “a major victory in the war on heroin. In this case, we went after the heroin dealer himself.”
County Attorney Brian Middendorf added, “I hope this case sends a message. Heroin users and dealers in Morrison County now know that this office will go after them for murder when there is an overdose.”
Bedford, 26, who lived upstairs in the home where Gosiak died, has a warrant out for his arrest on a charge of aiding and abetting third-degree murder. His trial was supposed to start on Sept. 9.
Dahn pleaded guilty two weeks ago to felony drug possession and testified against Mangun in return for a one-year jail sentence and 20 years of probation, rather than four years in prison.
“Basically every day, they went to north Minneapolis to buy heroin,” Kosovich said of Bedford and Dahn. “That was their thing.”
Ashby pleaded guilty to two felony drug charges and a gross misdemeanor charge of operating a disorderly house. She is expected to be sentenced to time already served in jail and 15 years’ probation.
The prosecutor said this was his office’s first murder conviction of a defendant who sold an illicit drug to a buyer who then provided it to the person who died. He said he’s aware of a couple of other such cases in the state in recent years, but those convictions came “by plea bargains.”