Two charged with murder in heroin death

An Apple Valley woman and a man from Morton, Minn., were charged with murder last week in connection with the overdose death of a Lakeville man.

Jennifer L. Spicer, 29, and Timothy P. Bednarchuk, 22, allegedly purchased the heroin that led to the death of Spicer’s boyfriend, 29-year-old Robert E. Trentman.

Trentman was found dead the morning of Sept. 8 at a Rosemount home. A Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s autopsy determined the cause of death was a mix of heroin and alcohol toxicity.

According to a criminal complaint, the night of Sept. 7 Spicer arranged for Bednarchuk to purchase heroin for the couple; she gave Bednarchuk $80 and drove with him to Brooklyn Center where he purchased two plastic bags of the drug.

Later that night, Spicer met up with Trentman at a bar; she later told police that Trentman had been drinking and appeared intoxicated. The two left the bar and returned to Spicer’s then-residence in Rosemount, where they each snorted two lines of heroin using a rolled-up dollar bill, the complaint said.

When Spicer woke up the morning of Sept. 8, Trentman was cold to the touch and not breathing. She attempted CPR but Trentman did not respond, and 911 was called.

Investigating officers found a plastic bag containing a trace amount of heroin on the bedroom floor, and a dollar bill with what appeared to be powder residue in Spicer’s purse, the complaint said.

Bednarchuk and Spicer were each charged with third-degree murder, a felony which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and a fine of $40,000.

“This is the third time since 2004 that we have charged the crime of third-degree murder in Dakota County in connection with the unlawful selling or giving away a controlled substance which causes death,” said Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom. “Heroin use continues to be a serious and growing problem in the Twin Cities and across this state.”

Court records show that Trentman had no convictions for drug offenses in Minnesota. A 2008 DWI charge in Dakota County District Court was dismissed when he pleaded guilty to careless driving, offensive conduct and no vehicle insurance.

Trentman is survived by his parents, sister, and three children, according to a Star Tribune obituary.

Bednarchuk made his first court appearance Oct. 30, with his next hearing set for Feb. 10.

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of Spicer, the Dakota County Attorney’s Office said last week. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the Rosemount Police Department at 651-423-4491.

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