A St. Paul man is facing a third-degree murder charge for allegedly selling a fatal mix of fentanyl and marijuana to a 21-year-old acquaintance.
The Ramsey County Attorney's Office has charged Aries Andres Velez, 20, in the death last March of Christopher Paul Wivholm. Velez was being held Thursday in the Ramsey County jail.
Wivholm was found dead behind the wheel of his parked car outside a residence in the 1600 block of Westminster Street, in St. Paul's Payne-Phalen neighborhood.
According to the complaint:
Wivholm, who had struggled with addiction and a family member's cancer diagnosis, went to the Westminster address after work the night of March 30, 2018, to smoke marijuana. At the gathering, he inquired if anyone had heroin and then left with Velez for a short time.
Questioned by police, Velez admitted selling what he believed to be heroin to Wivholm and watching him smoke it.
Witnesses told police that they checked on Wivholm, who was sitting in his car, during the early hours of March 31. One witness said the man still had a pulse at that time.
Police discovered Wivholm later that day. The medical examiner found marijuana and several types of fentanyl in his system and determined that Wivholm died of mixed blood toxicity.
Within the past two years, Ramsey County prosecutors have filed murder charges in four cases involving fatal drug overdoses.