We need to rid the country of these dopers.

Eveleth man convicted of third-degree murder in drug overdose case

By John Myers on Jan 21, 2016 at 10:00 p.m.
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A 28-year-old Eveleth man has been found guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of his girlfriend from an overdose of synthetic drugs.

A jury in State District Court in Virginia on Thursday found Bryan Joseph Hodapp guilty of the charges.

Hodapp was accused of supplying the drug 25I-NBOMe, a synthetic hallucinogen, to 21-year-old Krystal Wicklund on Aug. 30, 2013, after which she died of an overdose.

The drug is commonly called “N-Bomb” and is said to mimic the hallucinogenic effects of LSD.

Hodapp will be sentenced at a later date. Under state statutes he faces up to 25 years in prison for the most serious charge.

In court hearings last summer, Hodapp had sought to have the charges dismissed, arguing that he jointly possessed the drug with Wicklund and that she ingested it on her own volition. But Sixth Judicial District Judge Gary Pagliaccetti, who heard testimony in the case at a contested hearing in July, ruled in September that the charges were legitimate and that it should be up to a jury to determine if Hodapp is legally responsible for Wicklund’s death.

Wicklund, a Duluth native, was a 2011 graduate of Denfeld High School.

Hodapp has given varying accounts of the events that led up to Wicklund’s death. However, he testified at the July hearing that he and Wicklund together purchased the drugs — capsules that they believed contained powdered mushrooms — from a co-worker.

He said Wicklund took a third of a capsule while they were at Giants Ridge in Biwabik. Hodapp declined to take any because he had to drive. Hodapp testified that Wicklund later began sweating and mumbling, and appeared to be losing consciousness. She was taken to the Ely hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Hodapp had earlier told police that they had gone to Fortune Bay Casino in Tower. He told police that Wicklund had met up with friends and gambled, and that she started “acting strange” when he reunited with her later.

In yet another statement, Hodapp told law enforcement that he had purchased the capsules from a dealer in Duluth and that he gave of a portion of it to Wicklund at her request.

Hodapp is one of an increasing number of defendants in the Northland and across the state to face murder charges stemming from an overdose death as authorities in recent years have

tried to crack down on people involved with supplying drugs in incidents that turn fatal.

On Jan. 8, authorities charged a 22-year-old woman with murder after she allegedly sold a fatal dose of heroin to a 62-year-old Hermantown woman in November 2014. Kayla Jo Vranish, who has no known address, was arraigned in State District Court in Duluth on a third-degree murder charge in the death of Kathy Ann Davis.

Just last month Robert Todd Ferguson, 52, of Cloquet, was sentenced to seven years in prison for providing a fatal dose of fentanyl to Paul Duane Mrosla, 25, in January 2014.

Also last year, Itasca County prosecutors charged Terry Wayne Richards with murder in his wife’s overdose death from fentanyl. He later pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and is serving a 68-month prison sentence.

Hodapp’s case was investigated by the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of Dr. Thomas Uncini, the county’s former medical examiner, and prosecuted by Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Gordon Coldagelli.

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