A 25-year-old Minneapolis woman has been charged with murder for allegedly brokering a drug deal for a Chaska man who died in January after shooting up carfentanil-laced heroin one day before his 27th birthday.
Leah V. Peterson was charged Wednesday in Carver County District Court and remains jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail ahead of a court appearance Friday.
John M. Hall died in his apartment on Jan. 7 after injecting drugs that Peterson helped him buy, according to the criminal complaint. Peterson has requested that the court appoint a public defender for her.
Peterson spoke with police and “admitted that she was concerned about the heroin because she and the other man were fairly confident that it was laced with fentanyl,” the charging document read.
Carfentanil is 100 times more potent than the already dangerous fentanyl and cannot yet be detected using routine toxicology tests. It is federally approved to immobilize large animals for surgery, and two salt-sized specks can cause instant death.
Seizures of deadly synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil have soared in Minnesota this year. Carfentanil has killed at least a dozen people in the Twin Cities area so far in 2017.
According to the criminal complaint against Peterson:
Hall and Peterson started texting the night before his death and then spoke several times on the phone about her providing him with heroin.
Peterson told police they met up in the parking lot of his apartment, and a man with her gave Hall heroin in exchange for cash and possibly a gift card. Hall injected himself while sitting in her car. Peterson contended that she merely acted as a go-between.
The criminal complaint does not identify the man she said was with her. County Attorney Mark Metz said Wednesday that Peterson provided authorities with a name for the man. There have been no additional arrests in connection with Hall’s death and the case remains open.
Hall’s roommate called police about 6 a.m. and reported that Hall was unresponsive. Hall was pronounced dead about 45 minutes later.