Minnesota Mom Of 10 Died From Fentanyl Overdose After Taking What Appeared To Be Percocet Pill From Her Friend

minnesota case
Source: Renville County Sherriff’s Office; UNSPLASH

Mar. 6 2023, Published 12:42 p.m. ET

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A Minnesota man is headed to prison after he gave what appeared to be a Percocet pill to his friend, a mother of 10, and she died from a fentanyl overdose, officials said.

Bradley James Westphal, 38, of Olivia, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in connection with the death of Connie Marie Havens, 56, almost two years ago, the Renville County Attorney's Office said, the Hutchinson Leader reported.

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On July 19, 2021, officers responding to Westphal's residence after receiving a call about an unresponsive woman found Havens, who was transported to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The district attorney said Westphal “provided” the victim “with what he claimed to be Percocet” but toxicology reports showed actually contained a lethal amount of fentanyl.

“In initial statements to law enforcement, Mr. Westphal stated that Ms. Havens had brought the pills to the residence herself,” the D.A. said about the case. “However, at the plea hearing, Mr. Westphal admitted to providing the pills to Ms. Havens.”

Prosecutors said Westphal failed to call 911 after Havens began having trouble breathing and instead tried to clean up drugs and drug paraphernalia from the scene.

“Law enforcement officers recovered the drugs and drug paraphernalia from a vehicle stored on Mr. Westphal’s property,” the D.A. said. “Evidence obtained during the course of the investigation established that Mr. Westphal was calling various other individuals and sending Facebook messages prior to attempting to contact 911.”

Under Minnesota law, Westphal would have faced a possible sentence of between 7 and 13 years behind bars for the third-degree murder charge, but he is expected to receive a lesser sentence because of the plea deal he agreed to with prosecutors.

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His sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 23.


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