Two men who allegedly spiked 14-year-old Pauviera Linson's drinks with codeine and methadone at a party in Burnsville a year ago were charged Friday in Dakota County District Court.
However, the Star Tribune reports Jacob R. Sawyer, 20, of St. Paul, and Robert C. Kibble, 26, of Farmington, were not charged with her death but with third-degree drug possession and furnishing alcohol to a minor.
Linson was found dead in her St. Paul home on Aug. 6, 2012. St. Paul Police arrested Sawyer and Kibble initially but they were released pending autopsy results on the the teen.
Dennis Gerhardstein, a spokesman for the Ramsey County Attorney’s office, tells the Strib why more serious charges weren't filed.
“We declined murder charges because we did not have enough evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt,” Gerhardstein tells the paper. “What it comes down to is: Can you prove this in a court of law? Our answer was no.”
The Strib also reports that an unnamed source with knowledge of the case said Ramsey County had jurisdiction over the death but prosecutors could not prove that either man knew the drinks they gave the girls contained methadone. The codeine cough syrup alone probably wouldn’t have killed her.
Fox 9 reports Linson and her friends were given alcohol, marijuana and a "Dirty Sprite" cocktail made with codeine cough syrup, sometimes called "purple drank" or "lean."
An autopsy revealed Linson died of a mixed drug overdose. Toxicology testing revealed she had methadone, codeine and morphine in her system