Woodbury teen Tara Fitzgerald's overdose death leads to five murder charges

TaraFitzgeraldCole.jpg
Cole Matenaer (right) is one of five teens facing a murder charge in connection with the death of Fitzgerald (left).
Five teenagers -- including three minors -- face third-degree murder charges in connection with the synthetic drug overdose death of 17-year-old Woodbury resident Tara Fitzgerald.

All five were allegedly involved in the drug dealing chain that resulted in Fitzgerald and a friend of hers ingesting a substance they believed to be LSD while they were hanging out at Fitzgerald's house around midnight on January 11.

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After swallowing two small square pieces of pink paper, the two girls took photos and videos of themselves under the influence, according to the criminal complaint. But their trip took a turn for the worse a couple hours later when Fitzgerald started moaning and apparently having muscle spasms.

Around 9 a.m., Fitzgerald's mother was summoned to the scene. She called 911, and Fitzgerald was transported to Regions Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Fitzgerald's friend told police she obtained the LSD-like drug, later determined to be a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance called 25i-NBOMe, from a 17-year-old classmate named Brian Norlander. Norlander, in turn, told police he got the strips from Alistair Berg, also 17. Berg said he got the drugs from 17-year-old Sydney Johnson. Johnson told police she sold the drugs to Berg for $30, which is the same price Norlander said he paid for them.

Johnson told police she bought three doses of the drug from 19-year-old Cole Matenaer back in October. On January 13, Matenaer was arrested while driving a black Audi. Thirty-four doses of a substance similar to the one Fitzgerald ingested were found in his vehicle.

Matenaer said he sold the doses for $10 each, and admitted to selling "a lot" of them in Woodbury, including some to Johnson. The criminal complaint details calls Matenaer allegedly made from jail that were recorded by officers.

(For more, click to page two).


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74 comments
laxx1559
laxx1559

What kind of bullshit is this?  Why are people being charged for the actions of others?  There is no point in prosecuting these kids.  it's not a deterrent

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

You really have to be stupid to put unknown drugs into your body.

When did the polize start charging drug dealers for murder? I haven't heard of this, except in the past year or so.

Zane Smith
Zane Smith

She made the choice to consume poison, don't punish her friends...

Jonathon Richter
Jonathon Richter

By definition, murder is a premeditated action. I doubt these kids planned for this girl to die intentionally on the substance as part of some broad conspiracy where she (the victim) was the target. The girl had to have known the risks of taking the drug. Is it unfortunate? Yeah, it is. But is it murder? Not a chance.

Rick Miller
Rick Miller

So if I sell a car that somebody sells to somebody else who sells it to somebody else who sells to somebody else and it malfunctions and the driver dies in the crash, am I going to be liable? No actual drugs in possession? No charges that would stick-too bad these kids didn't lawyer up

Timsum Battis
Timsum Battis

You can't overdose on LSD, read a medical journal you idiots!.it was something else!

Eric K
Eric K

It is sad someone lied about the substance being LSD. Because of that misinformation, 6 lives are ruined. Educate yourself about what you sell and/or take or you could be next.

Eric Severson
Eric Severson

Who's to say even if they tested it they wouldn't have taken it? Obviously lots of other people had and it's the closest to LSD they had... It's horrible but murder charges are not the right way to go. They were never getting to hurt anyone. Plus It's already been well established you come out of prisons with more criminal knowledge than when you went in.

ianroyal
ianroyal

Why not charge the surviving friend as an accomplice while we're trumping up charges? Sounds like the DA is a piece of human feces.

Barbara Dee Machen
Barbara Dee Machen

I don't think it's right to arrest all of these teenagers drugs are illegal but not being a drug abuser. If this is the case the police should start arresting and charging the people who OD. It's not their fault she died

David Cole
David Cole

If those selliing had the personal responsibility to not do what they did, then it might not have become an issue

Joshua Morlock
Joshua Morlock

Holleigh Moore, Cheetos aren't an illegal hallucinogenic drug...a terrible analogy.

Aus Tin Padilla
Aus Tin Padilla

They shouldn't be charged with anything and they should be let off the hook, I think that living with the fact that their friend died is punishment enough.

erinschaub
erinschaub

Wow what a bunch of snitch bitches ratting eachother out...

Aus Tin Padilla
Aus Tin Padilla

Maybe the war on drug is a huge failure and money suck, people are always going to have the desire to change their consciousness whether it is illegal or not. If, say, LSD were legal this would not have happened The girl would have gotten real LSD instead of a research chemical and she would still be alive.

David Cole
David Cole

Maybe the people shouldn't be selling illegal substances and encouraging others to use it in the first place, if it's all about personal accountability? Or are you saying these other kids shouldn't be charged with anything and let off the hook?

David Cole
David Cole

Maybe the people shouldn't be selling illegal substances and encouraging others to use it.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

There's no way anybody should be charged, much less convicted, of murder for what happened here.  Additionally, it should be illegal instead of routine to charge juveniles as adults.  That everyday practice by itself makes a mockery of both juvenile and adult justice.

It's been a long time since I did any LSD.  Long enough ago that I think it actually was LSD.  Since the media and law-enforcement fearmongering at that time led to absurd legal penalties for the stuff, hallucinogens nowadays are weird variants of various molecules, such that nobody knows exactly what the stuff really is.  Maybe mushrooms are still mushrooms.  I wouldn't know; I don't have 8 hours to be out of my gourd and a day after that to recover anymore.  Adults are probably smart enough not to mess with this stuff anymore, so it's mostly kids doing it.

And that's what they are; they're kids.  And now one of them is dead, in a group of kids who were all taking this stuff themselves.  It's very sad, and indeed tragic (as opposed to the way that word is usually misused) because it was all so preventable.  But it isn't murder, and kids aren't adults.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

Stupid kids LSD is a myth, you cant buy it


i like all the facebook experts talking about LSD like they know what it is

Jason A Lee
Jason A Lee

What the fuck are you talkn about. Thats the dumbest crap i ever seen. For rwsl..acid dosent kill people for godsake.

Lindsey Richardson
Lindsey Richardson

This is horrible. It's like going after the pharmaceutical industry for everyone ODs. Or like Amy Sensor going after the distillers for driving drunk. Yes, someone died. But it was her choice to take a drug that she had no idea what it was due to not testing it. These 5 kids, do not need to be charged with manslaughter.

Cody Brutanunanulewski Allen
Cody Brutanunanulewski Allen

Authorities subsequently set up a controlled purchase of 25i-NBOMe from Claussen at a St. Cloud residence known as the "castle,"

Jon Miller
Jon Miller

Not sure if we can hold others accountable for decisions which were personally made, to me they are responsible of they held her at gun point and made her consume it otherwise it was a personal choice. As far as @Sheng Kristyns your comment is asinine practically all of us use use drugs all all time or need basis a world without drugs doesn't make sense. The true answer is to educate our youth on how to use them properly so if they do use them they don't make these kinds of mistakes.

Amy C. Morgan
Amy C. Morgan

This is really truely sad and im sorry for the loss but if you charge those kids with murder then the girls parents should get murder and child neglect charges.....

Johna Cathleen Green
Johna Cathleen Green

Im sorry but when your dealing with MURDER charges people tend to talk...no matter what. Sorry if you're friend and you come to me telling me you killed someone & the police ask me about it, guess what buddy..your ass is grass, theres no way in hell I'm going to go to prison for someone else doing something fucked up. When its a either me or you, its gonna be you especially if i didn't do shit. I don't see anything wrong with them telling police the truth, and thats the least of their worries and it should be the least of yours and its more shocking seeing this was posted by a fucking adult.

Mary Gould
Mary Gould

And. . .you were there?? People becoming veges after they took 5 hits too many?? 10 hits too many, of white lighting, window pane, or many of the other varieties that were there?? In 1970 to 1978?

Holleigh Moore
Holleigh Moore

lsd also isn't lethal so no, i dont take it knowing it could be potentially fatal

Holleigh Moore
Holleigh Moore

yeah no duh there is some type of responsibility there on her part, should've tested it, but what im trying to prove is there is no innocence in selling someone something that it isn't. it has to do with intention, was it her intention to die? no. was it the dealers intention to sell fake drugs while saying theyre legitimate? possibly yes.

Kate Palmer
Kate Palmer

i would understand if one of the kids purposely tampered with it or something to specifically give it to this girl but thats certainly not the case and these kids were obviously too dumb to test it, i really see no reason why they should all be getting charged with that. it probably will get dropped down but its still absurd. really the only thing they did wrong was selling something without testing it.

Kate Palmer
Kate Palmer

or rather "hope this bag doesnt have rat poison in it"

Kate Palmer
Kate Palmer

im not sure i agree with this analogy lol everybody knows that drugs can potentially be bad for you. thats why its technically her fault. nobody goes to buy a bag of cheetos thinking "oh no hope this bag doesnt give me a heart attack"....

Michael Smith
Michael Smith

Another case of Minnesota's terrible laws on drugs that do nothing too solve the problem and only cause pain and harm too so many families!!! Drop all charges if you have any soul prosecutors!!!!! You are not putting away any drug dealers your putting away kids being kids......

strangerwmancandy
strangerwmancandy

This law is so fucking stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  When are they going to get it doesn't put away drug dealers, it puts away regular kids....  the law needs too be rewritten!!!!  I hope this brings attention to how stupid the law is......  The girl took the drugs.... she is responsible for her choices....... PERIOD

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

If I or anyone else willing took drugs and overdosed, why is that another person’s problem.  I mean, did they trick them into taking more than everyone else?  Why the conscious decision by prosecutors to destroy more kids lives? And why the "murder" charge, sounds more like manslaughter charge, as the death was not the intentional.

Wendy Smith
Wendy Smith

Wow. Another case of bored suburban kids who think their life sucks. First world problems. Another example to prove my theory that every American teenager should be required to volunteer at a refugee camp for a few months.

Scott Blake
Scott Blake

Snitching at its finest!!! Young bucks running they mouth. Sad this happened. I don't believe you can od off LSD ! I personally know a guy who ate over 100 hits at a house party to save everyone from getting busted and he is still alive still tripping and a little crazy but still alive!!!

diva2456
diva2456

I would depend on if you knew of the malfunction or not. Selling a car that you don't realize has a functional problem is not illegal, selling schedule I substances is, so it's a little different.

diva2456
diva2456

You sell illegal drugs you take a risk, every time. There is a reason they are illegal.

eddogg67
eddogg67

They didn't force her to take the drugs. These charges are bogus.

eddogg67
eddogg67

Yeah like you wouldn't if you were staring down the barrel of a life sentence.

eddogg67
eddogg67

Yeah but people do anyways. And as far as encouragement goes, that girl could have said no. No one force her to ingest that substance. Your point is bogus.

diva2456
diva2456

Only difference being that the distillers were selling a legal product so it's ridiculous to go after them. These kids were selling illegal schedule I drugs.

diva2456
diva2456

They were selling an illegal drug, no matter if it was what they thought it was or not. That is doing something wrong.

diva2456
diva2456

Kids being kids? Wow. i must be special. I have managed to go my whole life without selling (or buying) illegal drugs. What kind of kids do you know?

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