Drug dealer found guilty of murder in heroin overdose

She's been charged with three other overdose deaths, too.

A Maplewood heroin dealer facing multiple charges of murder has been found guilty of at least one of them.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office says 31-year-old Beverly Burrell sold heroin to Lucas Ronnei, 20, and a friend in Jan. 2016. Ronnei died of an overdose afterwards.

According to Judge Paul Scoggin's verdict, the man had struggled with heroin addiction for about two years. On Jan 6. family became suspicious that he had injected heroin one night but they let him sleep. They heard him snoring at 9:30 a.m. the next morning, but by 11:30 he was unconscious.

As the judge notes, no one saw Ronnei inject the drug. So nobody could prove he died from heroin Burrell sold him. However, considering the timeline, the judge said it's “highly unlikely Ronnei obtained any other heroin" from a different dealer.

The Hennepin County Attorney is not able to comment too much on the trial because Burrell still has three more similar murder trials to go.

The other charges

Burrell is awaiting trials for the deaths of three other men.

Maxwell Tillitt, 21, died at an Eden Prairie hotel in Sept. 2015, a day after buying heroin from Burrell, according to the criminal complaint. The medical examiner ruled his cause of death was an overdose; he had also had methamphetamine in his system, the complaint says.

Nicholas Petrick, 29, of New Prague, was found dead in a vehicle in an Eden Prairie parking lot in April 2016. The medical examiner ruled he died of heroin laced with fentanyl, a criminal complaint notes.

As the Pioneer Press reports, the fourth man isn't identified. He died in Colombia Heights in April 2016.

Drug use in Minnesota

In Hennepin County last year, 144 people died from some sort of opioid – either an illegal street drug such as heroin, or a prescription painkiller like Vicodin, OxyContin, or Percocet.

And data from the Minnesota Department of Health show there were 572 drug overdose deaths in Minnesota in 2015 – that was up 11 percent from 2014, when there were 516. (The department hasn’t released the full 2016 numbers yet, so these are the most recent annual figures available.)

If you're struggling with addiction, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a website that shows residential, outpatient and hospital inpatient treatment program locations.

The National Institutes of Health has more options, and a guide of what to do if a friend or loved one has a substance abuse problem.

Next Up

Adam Thielen

Vikings place Adam Thielen on COVID-19/reserve list

Thielen is coming off a two-touchdown game against the Cowboys.

MCF Oak Park Heights

COVID-positive inmate at Oak Park Heights prison dies

He becomes the fourth prison inmate to die from the virus.

Screen Shot 2020-11-23 at 1.08.19 PM

2-ton smoker stolen from Twin Cities chef Thomas Boemer

Boemer is the chef behind restaurants including the popular Revival.

Governor Tim Walz

Walz says relief package is coming for Minnesota small businesses

Walz is prepared to call a special session and pass the package immediately.

Governor Tim Walz

Watch live: Gov. Tim Walz COVID-19 press conference Monday

Walz will be introducing a new app that helps Minnesotans track COVID-19 exposures.


Police: 3 possible drug overdoses at Mall of America

Police say they aren't sure if these were related to the six heroin overdoses in Anoka County on Saturday.

After a fatal heroin overdose, the guy accused of supplying it is being charged with murder

“We will continue to hold drug dealers accountable by charging them with murder.”

Sheriff: 6 separate heroin overdoses in Anoka Co. in 12 hours

Commander Paul Sommer says six cases between 5:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. is an "alarming anomaly."

2 arrested and a bunch of drugs seized after overdoses in central MN

Responders saved the lives of both victims using Narcan.

Drug dealer gets 10 years for young man's fatal heroin overdose

Rodney Williams pleaded guilty to 3rd degree murder.

MN heroin dealer arranged sales on Reddit, murder charge says

The charge involves the May overdose of a St. Louis Park man

Study: For women, opioid dealers are usually close friends or family

Women who abuse drugs aren't getting them from dealers.