The drug death overdose of Tara Fitzgerald to LSD has led to five teenagers being charged with third degree murder of the 17 year old Minnesota girl.
Tara Fitzgerald, a talented student and musician, would come to die in her parents’ home in January, after taking LSD during a sleepover.
Pursuant to her death, police arrested three 17-year-olds, and two 19-year-olds after following the drug supply line.
Cole Alexander Matenaer, and Alexander Lee Claussen, both 19, and 17-year olds Sydney Clair Johnson, Alistair Curtis Berg, and Brian Phillip Norlander, were charged with third-degree murder on Wednesday.
The younger three, who will be classed as adults in court, are also facing a felony charge of selling dangerous drugs to a person under 17.
The charges were made as Woodbury police traced the supply line after Tara died from a fatal overdose of a synthetic form of LSD known as 25i-NBOMe.
Told county attorney Pete Orput via the Star Tribune: ‘When an illegal drug enters our community, all of those involved – those who create it, sell it or give it away – are responsible for what happens with that drug.’
Johnson, Berg, Norlander and Matenaer are accused of buying and selling the LSD, and Claussen is accused of being the supplier. Police said 305 doses of the drug were found in his home.
Norlander is accused of selling the drug to Tara after a chain of sales involving the other defendants.
According to the police complaint seen by Twin Cities, Claussen sold it to Matenaer at the end of 2013. Matenaer sold the drug to Johnson, who sold it to Berg.
Norlander allegedly bought it at the end of December, and is accused of selling the synthetic LSD to Tara around January 4.
After her death, Orput said: ‘It’s the worst thing that can happen to all of us. We’ve got to do something about this.’
Tara had been described by her school principal as an ‘excellent student and a valued member’ of the school community.
She had enjoyed making amusing videos and skateboarding, and liked listening to British bands.
Reiterated Bill Hedahl who used to coach Tara for a softball team: ‘She was not a big party girl. She was a leader, witty, with a sense of humor.’
Woodbury police chief Lee Vague defended the decision to charge the teenagers in connection with Tara’s death, telling: ‘These are smart kids knowingly selling what they think is LSD. They’re making a pretty poor choice,’
‘If you make a choice and that choice results in the death of a young girl, you’re going to be held accountable for that.’
Since the decision has been rendered, commentators on the web have been divided with some arguing that deterrents are needed to stem drug use whilst others have wondered if an extension of the logic ought to also make say pharmaceutical companies culpable for the death of patients as well? It is thought that Tara had been the first to try a new batch which was highly toxic.