May 26 – BEMIDJI – A Bemidji woman has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for her role in the 2020 death of a man from a drug overdose.
According to a release from Beltrami County Attorney David Hanson, 44-year-old Becky Lyn Stough of Bemidji pleaded guilty to third-degree murder on Thursday, May 25 for selling/giving/distributing schedules I and II controlled substances.
The plea of guilt comes after the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force, responded on June 29, 2020 to a call to investigate an unresponsive man, identified in court documents as RR, as a possible victim of a drug overdose. .
RR was pronounced dead at the scene and an autopsy concluded that the cause of death was a fentanyl overdose. After an investigation, police learned that Stough had been selling fentanyl pills in the Bemidji area.
While Stough didn’t give the pills directly to RR, police were able to tie the pills that killed him back to Stough, according to the release.
When confronted, she eventually admitted to selling the pills known as “perc 30s”, which contained fentanyl and were found in the victim’s bedroom.
“Stough’s prosecution for third-degree murder, based solely on the distribution of drugs to the community, is the first successful prosecution in our community of a drug dealer who did not give the drugs directly to the deceased,” Hanson said in the release.
At Stough’s plea hearing, she admitted to selling pills she knew were laced with fentanyl in the Bemidji area and could be foreseen to kill someone.
A hearing will take place on June 27.
“(I) would like to thank all the hard-working members of the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office, the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, who helped investigate this crime,” Hanson said. “(I) would also like to thank all of the Beltrami County Attorney’s Office staff who devoted many hours to this case, especially Assistant County Attorney Symon Schindler-Syme, Legal Assistant Ashley Yoder, and Victim Services Coordinator Riley Irish.”