By Liz Collin


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A woman charged with murder is back behind bars after she was let out of jail with a forged bond.

(left to right): Beverly Burrell, Nick Petrick and Luke Ronnie (credit: CBS)

(left to right): Beverly Burrell, Nick Petrick and Luke Ronnie
(credit: CBS)

Beverly Burrell is charged in the overdose deaths of Nick Petrick and Luke Ronnei. Investigators say she sold them the fentanyl-laced heroin that killed them.

She bonded out of the Hennepin County jail last week.

The Ronneis have been questioning the system since the beginning of their nightmare.

“How does that even happen? How does that happen?” said Colleen Ronnei, Luke’s mother.

Colleen says she watched her son buy heroin from Burrell several times nearly a year ago, and she turned her in to two law enforcement agencies.

Colleen Ronnei (credit: CBS)

Colleen Ronnei (credit: CBS)

There was finally an arrest last month, four months after Luke died.

Then last week the family heard Burrell had posted bond — only to be told by a Hennepin County court worker that it had been forged.

Defense Attorney Eric Nelson, who is not connected to the case, says he has never seen anything like this.

“It’s kind of mind blowing in a sense,” Nelson said.

Ability Bail Bonds backed Burrell’s $350,000 bail. That company’s insurer says that should not have happened.

Documents filed in court say the insurance company “granted Ability [Bail Bonds] authority to write a bond up to $100,000. But Ability modified [it] to say it was valid for $500,000.”

Ability Bail Bonds (credit: CBS)

Ability Bail Bonds (credit: CBS)

You can see the dollar amount looks altered if you look closely at a copy of the bond. A judge decided it was. But what is not yet known is who was involved, and why.

“Because of the volume of these things that are coming through the court system, you could theoretically say it would be easy to slip one by,” Nelson said.

A warrant was issued for Burrell once the mistake was realized. She turned herself in Tuesday, after nine days of freedom.

The Ronneis are relieved for now, and are still committed to asking questions on behalf of the young men who no longer can.

“We’re going to keep speaking for them,” Colleen Ronnei said.

Burrell’s attorney, Paul Applebaum, told WCCO it is not possible that his client had anything to do with the forged bond because she was in jail.

Ability Bail Bonds has been removed from the State Court Administrator’s approved list of bonding agencies.

State investigators told WCCO their license is at risk. WCCO’s phone calls to Ability Bail Bonds were not returned after repeated attempts.

Liz Collin