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Charges in overdose death

A night of drinking and drugs ended in death last September for one Rosemount man and now has resulted in murder charges against a 22-year-old Morton resident and the deceased man’s girlfriend.

The Dakota County Attorney’s office has charged Timothy Patrick Bednarchuk and Jennifer Lynn Spicer with third-degree murder after they allegedly helped supply the heroin Robert Trentman used the night he died.

Rosemount police got involved in the incident Sept. 8 when they were dispatched to a report of a man who was not breathing. They found Trentman, who according to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner died from a mix of heroin and alcohol toxicity.

According to the charges, Trentman and Spicer, got in touch with Bednarchuk early on the night of Sept. 7 because they believed he could help them get heroin. Spicer and Bednarchuk dropped Trentman off at a Rosemount bar, then drove to Brooklyn Center, where Spicer gave Bednarchuk $80 and watched him buy two baggies of heroin. He gave her one and injected the contents of the other himself. Then he drove her back to Rosemount and dropped her off.

According to the complaint, Spicer met Trentman at the bar, where she found him apparently drunk. After a short time, they left the bar and went back to her home. They used a credit card to chop the heroin into four lines, and then each snorted two with a rolled dollar bill.

When Spicer woke up the next morning, she found Trentman cold to the touch and not breathing. When CPR didn’t work, she and her roommate called 911.

The county attorney’s office has charged Bednarchuk and Spicer with third degree murder. If convicted they each could face up to 25 years in jail and fines of up to $40,000.

Rosemount Police Chief Eric Werner called the death senseless and said the incident serves as an example of the significant impact drug use has on the community. He said the people who supply drugs need to be held accountable.

Heroin use in Dakota County has been rising over the last five years, said Dan Biaconi, Dakota County Drug Task Force commander. The Dakota County Drug Task Force started tracking heroin related deaths in 2008 and has recorded a steady increase since with numbers holding steady in 2012 and 2013.

Biaconi said heroin brought into the metro area is some of the purest in the country making it particularly dangerous to users.

While it wasn’t necessarily the case in this incident, Biaconi said there is a correlation between prescription drug abuse and heroin use. He said often users will become addicted to prescription drugs. When they can’t get those narcotics anymore, they will turn to heroin because it’s cheaper and easier to access. Biaconi said young adults, between the ages of 18 and 25, are most susceptible.

“They are addicted and will use what they can get,” said Biaconi.

Werner said parents should speak with their children and make it clear that drug use of any type is not acceptable. Even legally obtained drugs can pose a risk if not properly used.

This is the third murder alleged to have occurred in Rosemount in recent weeks. Police believe Anarae Schunk was killed in the city, though no charges have been filed yet. Police also suspect the Oct. 7 deaths of Rosemount residents Steven Vasey Jr. and Melissa Vasey were a case of murder-suicide.

Editor Nathan Hansen contributed to this report.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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