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Prosecutors Charge Drug Dealer With Murder in 2012 Hopkins Overdose

Devon McFerrin is accused of selling a Hopkins man the heroin that killed him.

Prosecutors on Thursday filed a murder charge against a Minneapolis man suspected of being a prolific drug dealer whose heroin killed a Hopkins man a year ago.

The County Attorney’s Office charged 31-year-old Devon McFerrin with third-degree murder, a charge in which the selling of drugs results in someone’s death.

The charge stems from a death investigation that began Feb. 20, 2012, at a Lake Street Northeast home in Hopkins, Officer Erik Husevold wrote in the criminal complaint. Officers tried to revive the unidentified man but were unable to do so.

(Details about the victim were not immediately available. Hopkins police plan to release a statement about the case. Patch will have more information as it becomes available.)

The person who reported the death said that a few hours before officers arrived, the victim had used heroin purchased from a dealer named “Church” at the Pennwood Market in Minneapolis.

On the dresser, Hennepin County Crime Lab technicians found a tin with a torn-off baggie that had heroin inside. Officers also found:

  • Two syringes,
  • Two metal spoons with heroin residue,
  • Two glass pipes with suspected methamphetamine residue and
  • Two 2-inch-by-2-inch baggies with suspected methamphetamine residue.

The medical examiner also found a baggie tear-off with heroin on the victim. Toxicology reports were consistent with an accidental overdose from opiates, the class of drugs that contains heroin.

In the course of the investigation, Husevold learned that there was a “prolific heroin dealer” nicknamed “Church” and later learned that Devon McFerrin was the dealer’s real name, according to court documents.

Husevold spoke to two people who said they’d previously bought heroin from McFerrin, and one of the sources admitted giving the murder victim McFerrin’s phone number in order for the victim to buy heroin.

Video surveillance of Pennwood Market on the night of the victim’s death showed the victim approaching a vehicle with two people and “conduct[ing] a hand to hand transaction with the front passenger” that Husevold concluded was a drug transaction.

The vehicle’s license plate was registered to McFerrin’s girlfriend.

A DNA analysis of the baggie tear-offs found that the predominant male DNA profile matched McFerrin’s profile.

McFerrin told police that he was the front passenger in the video surveillance and that his nickname is “Church.”

A warrant has been issued for McFerrin’s arrest. His current location is not known, according to a Police Department news release. Police encourage anyone with information on his location to call 911.

If he’s convicted, he could be sentenced to as many as 25 years in prison and fined up to $40,000.

 

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Erin Black February 19, 2013 at 02:49 PM
This is just stupid. If someone is dumb enough to buy heroin, then they deserve the consequencese. Don't blame the seller for "killing someone" when all they did was sell. I think the seller should be prosecuted for selling and dealing, but not for murder. You don't charge a gun seller with murder everytime someone uses a gun to kill someone. Thats just ridiculous. This is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of. I do feel bad that someone died, but come on. Heroin kills people all the time, and if you're gonna take it, you should know what could happen. The victim was an addict and waste of oxygen. This warrent is just stupid.
James Warden February 20, 2013 at 07:47 PM
For those who are interested, the victim's sister has a great piece here about her brother's struggles and why his life was worthwhile: http://hopkins.patch.com/articles/a-sister-s-perspective
Pat St. John February 20, 2013 at 09:03 PM
This person I brought into the world 32 years ago, was not a waste of any oxygen to me. I looked forward to his birth and growing up. Yes, he at the end made the wrong choices. We all do every day, every month and year that passes. I'm sure had you walked in our footsteps as a family, or Tim's. i highly doubt, your mother would call you a "waste of oxygen."
Evelyn Janice Jakubec February 22, 2013 at 06:22 AM
Here's what stupid, that you don't seem to understand, if the seller wasn't selling this drug to this individual, this person would not have died. Therefor, the person who sold him the drug is responsible for his death, just as gun sellers that sell guns to people that should never possess them! I guess you must feel that you should be the judge of who gets to breathe the air and who doesn't!

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