ROCHESTER, Minn. - A Rochester man has been arrested on drug charges. Now an overdose and death of another man who allegedly bought those drugs, could lead to third degree murder charges.
Those very serious murder charges are being recommended to the Olmsted County Attorney from the Rochester Police.
The man facing the drug charges, Demterious Deal, has a past history of drug related crimes.
When police searched his home, they found about 8 grams of heroin.
Now the whole ordeal could mean some very serious charges for Deal.
Rochester Police tell us according to witnesses, Deal supplied heroin to 39-year old Nicholas Miner earlier this week , on the same day miner was found dead in his home located at 518 9th St SE. Miner died of a heroin overdose.
“We had witnesses who saw what happened take place, we found evidence at the suspects house, evidence at the scene,” explains Lt. Casey Moilanen with Rochester Police.
Police took deal into custody on Thursday and are recommending he be charged with third degree murder in the death of Miner.
They interviewed deal who admitted to seeing Miner that day, and while he also admitted to selling drugs to Miner in the past, he denied selling him heroin anytime recently.
But police say despite those statements, they have enough evidence and probable cause to believe otherwise.
“We interviewed the suspect, interviewed other witnesses and built enough probable cause we feel. Our charges of third degree murder and second degree controlled substance crime that we’re going to refer to the county attorney’s office,” adds Moilanen.
We wanted to look into how liable drug dealers are when the people they supply to, end up overdosing and dying because of the drugs.
Richard Piscopo is a criminal law attorney who is not connected to this case, but he weighed in on what prosecutors would have to prove in a similar situation.
“You have to show that the death of the person was caused by them purchasing drugs by the defendant and that’s very difficult to do,” explains Piscopo.
Rochester Police believe they do have enough evidence for the charges against deal.
Although Moilanen says these charges aren’t always possible in overdose cases, they’re hopeful all the evidence is enough to make that reality in this case.
“Any overdose death we investigate the best that we can, we don’t always have people that cooperate or evidence to charge anybody but we’re going to take a look at every single case and do the best that we can to charge people in this case, we feel that we’ve obtained enough evidence.”
Right now, Deal has been charged with three felony drug charges. According to the Olmsted County Attorney, more charges could be coming. Any final decision on the third degree murder charge could take several weeks.