A Minnesota Man Was Convicted Of Murder After He Sold Deadly Fake Oxycodone. But He Escaped The Courthouse Before The Verdict Could Be Read.

minnesota case

Mar. 14 2023, Published 1:16 p.m. ET

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A Minnesota man was found guilty of third-degree murder — but he managed to escape the courthouse before the verdict could be delivered by a judge.

Court documents obtained by KMSP show Michael Harlan, 28, was charged with third-degree murder in connection with the death of 29-year-old Cole Linnell.

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According to the documents, Harlan sold Linnell purported Oxycodone pills that were actually made with fentanyl.

On March 14, 2021, Linnell’s mother, Jean Thurman, requested a wellbeing check on her son, and police found him dead from an overdose at his kitchen table. According to KMSP, Linnell became addicted to pain medication after he suffered a sport-related injury as a teenager.


Almost two years later, on March 9, 2023, Harlan, who had been out on bond, arrived to a hearing. According to the victim’s mother, Jean Thurmer, the defendant told officers in court that he “needed to use the bathroom.”

"That’s the last we ever saw him,” she said, KMSP reported. "He robbed my son of his life," Thurmer said. "I want my day in court when I can see the man in a jumpsuit."

The now-convicted killer Harlan has a warrant out for his arrest.


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