Update: Cooper is in custody, and made his first court appearance on Feb. 14. He will appear next in court in April.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A St. Paul man is facing third-degree murder charges in connection to the heroin overdose death of an Orono man last summer.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s office says 39-year-old Garyegus Lealexander Cooper is accused of selling heroin to a 33-year-old man on June 24, 2016.
A family member found the victim lifeless in a bedroom with drug paraphernalia nearby on June 25, according to the criminal complaint.
Investigators searched his cellphone and found his last text messages were to a number later found to belong to Cooper.
The victim’s autopsy showed he died from a combination of heroin, fentanyl and alcohol toxicity. Testing showed that drugs found with the victim were a mixture of heroin and fentanyl, and DNA on the bag was traced to Cooper, who was in the CODIS database.
Cooper could face up to 35 years in prison if convicted.