Skip to main content

Two men sentenced in teenager's synthetic drug overdose death

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Two men will spend time behind bars for providing the synthetic drug that killed a Woodbury teenager last year.

Alexander Claussen, 20, of St. Cloud, Minn., and Cole Matenaer, 19, of Woodbury both pleaded guilty last fall to third-degree murder for their roles in supplying the drugs that killed Tara Fitzgerald, 17, in January 2014.

They were sentenced in Washington County District Court Friday, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Claussen was sentenced to about six years in prison, while Matenaer was sentenced to one year in jail and 15 years' probation, according to the Pioneer Press.

Claussen admitted during his plea hearing that he had sold the drug, a synthetic form of LSD known as 25i-NBOMe, that Fitzgerald ingested at her house while a friend was visiting. She died the next morning.

According to the criminal complaint filed in May, the substance was initially sold by Claussen to Matenaer in the fall of 2013. It was then purchased consecutively by three different 17-year-old suspects, until its final sale to Fitzgerald on or about Jan. 4, 2014.

Those three other teens were also charged in the case. Prosecutors are seeking to have them certified to adult court. They have hearings in February and March.

Fitzgerald was a junior at Woodbury High School at the time of her death, and was remembered as a talented artist and musician, and an avid reader.

Tom Fitzgerald, Tara's father, said in court Friday that the two defendants preyed on his daughter and put money before conscience, the Star Tribune reports.

Claussen and Matenaer had previously apologized to the Fitzgerald family and said they were trying to recover from their drug addictions, according to the Star Tribune.

Matenaer received a lighter sentence because he has made progress in his drug treatment and cooperated with investigators, the Star Tribune notes.

Next Up

raiaing canes brooklyn park crop

After 3-month delay, newest Twin Cities Raising Cane's opens

The restaurant was originally scheduled to open in October.

st anthony armed robbery screengrab

Armed man robs Twin Cities thrift store, flees in carjacked pickup

He pulled out a handgun shortly after chatting with the cashier about his scarf.

red wing 6

Gallery: Pagoda-inspired home on Lake Pepin for sale for $2M

The home has 425 feet of private shoreline on the Mississippi River.

Walz, Flanagan

Walz proposes legalizing marijuana in massive supplemental budget

It's among the provisions in his "Budget to Move Minnesota Forward."

Plow 2 (1)

Photos reveal damage from gunshots to Minneapolis snowplow

A hydraulic line and three tires were damaged in the shooting.

unsplash - school classroom students

Minneapolis schools confirm return to in-person teaching Monday

The school district shifted to online learning almost two weeks ago as rising COVID cases led to staff and bus driver shortages.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

Mineral leases for proposed Twin Metals mine near Boundary Waters canceled

A review by the DOI found "significant legal deficiencies" with the leases' 2019 renewal.

cats

Reward to find person who left kittens to die in freezing WI cold

The cats were thrown from a vehicle, according to a witness.

metro mobility bus

Charges: Man led police on multi-city pursuit in stolen Metro Mobility bus

The bus had been left unattended with the keys inside when it was stolen.

Bell Ramsey Co. Jan 22 - crop

Charges: Man fatally shot mother of his child during argument

Officers found her on the ground outside the couple's home.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 26

More than 15,000 new cases in today's update.

Related