Newport woman charged in husband's fatal methadone overdose


Authorities are looking for a 43-year-old Newport, Minnesota, woman after she was charged in connection with her husband's fatal overdose on methadone, the Pioneer Press reports.

The Washington County Attorney's Office Thursday charged Jennifer Marie Johnson with third-degree murder in the March 2013 death of the 33-year-old man, only identified as DKP.

As of Thursday, police said, Johnson's whereabouts were unknown. A warrant has been issued for her arrest.

KSTP says the charges carry a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a $40,000 fine.

The complaint says Newport Police responded to a call at about 1:30 a.m. on March 30, where they found the man unresponsive and gasping for air every 30 seconds.

DKP was reportedly in full cardiac arrest by the time he was brought to Regions Hospital in St. Paul, and was declared dead at about 3 a.m.

According to the complaint, Johnson told police that DKP got home from work about 11 p.m. that night and drank about 12 beers. Johnson's daughter also reportedly verified the amount the man allegedly drank.

The complaint also stated that the man asked for some methadone, which Johnson had a prescription for, and the woman "filled up a syringe with approximately 30-40 milliliters of methadone and gave it to DKP."

The Pioneer Press says the Ramsey County medical examiner determined the man's death was caused by mixed-drug toxicity related to the presence of methadone and ethanol.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput in a statement called the incident "an example of the results caused by the recklessness of those in the drug culture."

"In the last few years, drug overdose deaths have become a scourge upon our local communities," Orput said. "We in law enforcement are doubling our efforts in these types of cases as a result."

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