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Warrant out for Edina man accused of killing mother with fentanyl

Charges say fentanyl was found in her system, without explanation.

An Edina man is charged with third-degree murder after authorities say he gave his 82-year-old mother fentanyl, resulting in her death.

Scott Alan Henkel, 62, was charged in Hennepin County Friday with third-degree murder, four felony drug-related counts, and one count of illegal firearm possession. The allegations stem from the Nov. 7, 2020 death of his 82-year-old mother. 

Edina police responded to a medical emergency call on the 7600 block of Edinborough Way at about 1:36 p.m., and found her in bed not breathing and without a pulse. She was pronounced dead at the scene, with Henkel saying he'd given her an Aleve around 2 a.m., then returned from a morning errand to find her unresponsive. That's when we called 911.

But the ensuing investigation turned up more to the story, according to prosecutors.

A toxicology report found fentanyl in the woman's system, despite there being no reason for its presence based on her medication list. It also found no trace of the Aleve. 

A search warrant of the residence, where Henkel said he lived with his ailing mother, turned up significant amounts of methamphetamine, marijuana, THC edibles, THC wax and mushrooms. Investigators also found a loaded .358 magnum and alleged drug ledger in the residence, the complaint states.

Then there was the storage unit in Bloomington, in which investigators found more drugs in December of 2020.

Henkel admitted to police the drugs were his, but said he never sold them, just shared them with friends. He also denied providing anything other than Aleve to his mother, and said he had no idea how fentanyl might have ended up in her system.

Investigators, however, found messages from Oct. 24, 2020, on Henkel's phone, in which he asked via Signal if someone had "any luck on the oxi" because his mother was "in pain," according to the complaint. (The charges also note black market oxycodone pills can contain fentanyl rather than the normal active ingredient.) According to the Star Tribune, search warrants show another family member told authorities they were concerned Henkel may have been injecting his mother with heroin.

The third-degree murder charge against Henkel suggests he did not intend to kill his mother. The complaint also notes he is unable to possess a firearm because of a 2000 drug-related felony conviction.

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