Man charged with homicide in connection to fatal overdose

Comments Comments Print Print
Jonah Beleckis | February 7, 2017

ELKHORN—Prosecutors charged a Janesville man with reckless homicide because he sold heroin to a man who overdosed and died in Elkhorn on Jan. 6, according to a criminal complaint filed Feb. 3 in Walworth County Court.

Prosecutors charged Jason A. Wedell, 34, of 3200 Randolph Road, with first-degree reckless homicide and delivering the heroin that killed Matthew Brown at Sweetener Supply, according to the complaint.

The complaint does not say how old Brown was or what city he lived in, and law enforcement declined to provide that information.

Elkhorn police responded to the business at about 1:45 p.m. Jan. 6 and found two employees, including Brown's brother, standing near Brown's body outside the business, according to the complaint.

Brown's brother told police he saw Brown around noon, according to the complaint.

Brown's brother said he could not get a hold of Brown when he got back from lunch, so around 1:30 p.m. he went outside to check where his brother sometimes went to smoke cigarettes.

Brown's brother opened the door, saw Brown's body and immediately suspected he had overdosed on drugs, according to the complaint. Brown's brother said he did not think Brown was high when he saw him earlier that day.

Police reviewed surveillance video that showed Wedell drive into the business's parking lot at 8:18 a.m., get into Brown's car before returning to his own and leaving the parking lot, according to the complaint.

Brown's girlfriend told police Brown had been getting their heroin from Wedell, known to the couple as “Pud,” for the last year, according to the complaint. She said Brown usually bought 10 to 14 baggies from Wedell on Fridays when Brown gets paid.

She said Wedell would get the money from Brown before driving to Chicago and getting the heroin for Brown.

Police said Brown's cellphone showed the last contact between Brown and Wedell was at 11:54 a.m., according to the complaint. There were also brief phone calls from Brown to Wedell at 8:10 a.m., 10:55 a.m., 10:56 a.m., 10:57 a.m., 11:50 a.m. and 11:53 a.m.

Brown's brother gave officers permission to search Brown's locker at work, where they found 10 packets of heroin and a straw with residue on it, according to the complaint. The State Crime Lab confirmed Jan. 31 the residue tested positive for heroin and fentanyl.

The next day, police interviewed another brother who said it was no secret Brown was a drug addict who used heroin in addition to Percocet, according to the complaint.

Brown's urine tested positive for opiates, and his lungs were filled with fluid that showed his death was due to an opiate overdose, according to the autopsy results in the complaint.

Wedell admitted to police Jan. 27 he had been selling heroin to Brown and his girlfriend, according to the complaint. He also said Brown usually used two packets of heroin at a time and that he would have sold him 12 packets.

Wedell told police he sold heroin to Brown almost every Friday for the last six months.

Judge Phil Koss set Wedell's cash bond at $25,000 Jan. 30, according to court records.

He is next due in court for a preliminary hearing at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Comments Comments Print Print