2 charged with reckless homicide in Eau Claire County after overdose death
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Two people are facing homicide charges after a man died from a fentanyl overdose in Eau Claire last December. The man accused of selling the deadly dose was in court today.
Investigators believe 33-year-old Trenton Wik sold Noah Beckstead fentanyl disguised as heroin. According to court documents, Wik considered the fentanyl he was selling to be “extremely potent”.
The victim reportedly took several drugs with Beckstead before injecting the drug purchased from Wik. Beckstead said when the victim became unresponsive, he tried to call 911 but his phone died. The victim was found dead in his car the next morning. An autopsy revealed he suffered from “acute fentanyl toxicity.”
Officer Josh Miller with Eau Claire Police says they respond to overdose situations nearly every day. “We are seeing an uptick in the amount of fentanyl were seeing. What we are seeing is that people who are selling will obtain a large amount of pure fentanyl and then use cutting agents and sell it as heroin because they can sell a greater amount and make more money,” Miller said.
Marshfield Medical Clinic Eau Claire Medical Director, Dr. Brent Sorge, says he’s seen too many people die from fentanyl overdose. “The thing that happens with an overdose is you just stop breathing. Then when you aren’t breathing enough your hearth will stop because you aren’t getting any oxygen and it will lead to brain death as well.”
To give you a better understanding of how potent this fentanyl batch was, Trenton Wik told investigators he would only smoke it because he was afraid, he would overdose if he injected it, and that decision came after he did overdose and had to be revived with Narcan, by his supplier.
In addition to the homicide charge, Wik is facing other counts including attempted battery of a law enforcement officer. His second court date is set for May 19th. Beckstead is expected to appear on the homicide charge on April 14.
Two people are facing homicide charges after a man died from a fentanyl overdose.
Noah Beckstead, 19 of Ettrick, and Trenton Wik, 33 of Eau Claire, are charged with first degree reckless homicide.
In a criminal complaint filed in Eau Claire Circuit Court this week, investigators detailed what they found after being called to the 500 block of Cochrane Street on Dec. 6, 2020 and how Beckstead and Wik fit into the crime.
A neighbor called police after she noticed a man sitting in a car in front of her house. She tried waking the man, but discovered he was cold and stiff. When officers arrived, they found an orange syringe cap on the floorboard of the driver’s side and a used syringe with a bent needle on the floorboard of the passenger side. An autopsy showed the man had several drugs in his system including marijuana and fentanyl.
Detectives learned that the victim had been with Beckstead the night he died. In a Dec. 15 interview officers say Beckstead told them he met with the victim between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Dec. 5 and they consumed alcohol, smoked marijuana and “took a hit of acid”. They then drove Wik’s house where they smoke meth with Wik. Beckstead said they bought heroin from Wik, went back to the car, shot up and drove off. With the victim driving they left Wik’s house—moments later Beckstead said the victim started swerving; he told him to pull over so they could switch drivers. When Beckstead got to the driver’s seat he said the victim was unresponsive and Beckstead tried to shake him awake but he was still unresponsive. He began to “freak out” and was afraid he would get caught. He also said he tried to call 9-1-1 but his phone died as he tried to call.
In late January 2021, investigators facilitated several suspected drug purchases from Wik.
The next month he was interviewed twice by detectives. In the first interview Wik insisted that he didn’t sell fentanyl to the victim, only to Noah Beckstead.
During the second interview, according to court records, Wik claimed the fentanyl he was selling was “extremely potent” and he only smoked it because he was afraid of overdosing from an injection. Wik also mentioned that he felt partially responsible for the victim’s overdose even thought Wik didn’t directly give him the drugs that led to his death.
Beckstead’s criminal history means that he is considered a habitual offender. The 19-year-old is expected to appear on the homicide charges on April 14.
In addition to the homicide charge, Wik is also facing other counts including maintaining a drug trafficking place, attempted battery of a law enforcement officer, identity theft, delivery of narcotics (fentanyl), possession with intent to deliver narcotics and possession of THC. Wik’s next court date is May 19.
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