MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 22-year-old Ham Lake man faces murder charges for giving heroin last summer to a woman who died of an overdose.
Rex Dallas David Fernald is charged with third-degree murder in connection to the death of a 28-year-old Ham Lake woman, the Anoka County Attorney’s Office says.
According to a criminal complaint, Fernald brought the heroin to the woman, a recovering heroin user, on the night of March 9. The next morning, sheriff’s deputies found the woman dead in her home on 164th Avenue Northeast. Authorities did not give her name.
An autopsy later showed that the woman died of mixed toxicity of heroin and methamphetamine.
The complaint says Fernald texted the woman the day he gave her the drugs, saying: “You NEED to be very careful…I know someone who died off this $*%& last week.”
In a statement, Fernald admitted to authorities to providing heroin to the woman on multiple occasions. However, he said that on March 9 the woman refused to take the drugs, thinking he had “shorted” her.
Fernald has been convicted of other drug related charges, the complaint said. Most recently, he was convicted in June for possessing heroin.
If convicted of the third-degree murder charge, Fernald could face a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine.