Chisholm man charged with murder after drug overdose
CHISHOLM, MN. (Northern News Now) - A Chisholm man has been charged with murder due to his connection to an overdose death.
Justin Dean Stauffer, 41, has been also charged with third-degree murder after allegedly selling drugs to Timothy Baker, ultimately leading to his death.
According to the criminal complaint, on March 8, Baker made a call to 911 in which an individual was allegedly heard breathing.
Upon later review, an officer familiar with and trained in responding to drug overdoses recognized the breathing as agonal breathing.
Agonal breathing is the body’s last-ditch effort to keep an individual alive.
The officer indicated that Baker would have been essentially unconscious during this breathing, leading to the conclusion another individual made the call from the phone.
Five days later, Baker’s body was found in his vehicle that was parked on 6th Street NW in Chisholm.
Authorities on scene stated he was lying on his side in the passenger seat of the vehicle, and it appeared someone moved him to this location.
During an autopsy, the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office toxicology report showed the presence of fentanyl and high levels of meth.
According to the criminal complaint, Baker messaged an account on Facebook with the name “Francis Kane” to try to buy drugs on March 2.
Further investigation found Stauffer to be the person running the account.
Documents say on March 8 Stauffer and Baker had another conversation over Facebook allegedly making a plan to meet up.
The address Stauffer gave Baker matched his residence in Chisholm.
With this information, authorities obtained a warrant for the Facebook records from the “Francis Kane” account.
During the investigation, payment information listed Stauffer as the cardholder, he referred to himself as Justin, gave his address to Baker, and had a phone number that officers knew to be associated with Stauffer.
Officers also obtained warrants for historical location data from Stauffer’s phone number, Baker’s phone number, and Baker’s Google account.
The locations on all three were consistent with the address Stauffer gave Baker and where his body was ultimately found.
According to the criminal complaint, a review of messages from Stauffer’s Facebook account shows he was actively selling and purchasing controlled substances at the time Baker went to his residence on March 8.
There were multiple conversations found between the two about what drugs Stauffer had for Baker to purchase in the days leading up to Baker’s overdose.
Authorities also spoke with Baker’s daughter who stated she last saw her dad on March 7.
Allegedly, his daughter received the last text from him a few hours before he went to Stauffer’s.
She stated she became concerned when she did not hear back from Baker.
Baker’s daughter told authorities the last person her father was allegedly with was Stauffer.
Documents say she attempted to contact Stauffer on March 11 because she previously knew him.
He did not respond until 1 a.m. on March 12, when they had a conversation about her father’s whereabouts.
In the messages, Stauffer admits to selling Baker drugs.
Based on the investigation, authorities received a warrant on March 21 to search Stauffer’s residence.
A search of Stauffer’s bedroom was then conducted.
Officers found and seized an AR-15 rifle, ammunition, and two magazines.
In addition, they also seized an assortment of suspected controlled substances including approximately two ounces of meth, over eight grams of fentanyl, 0.6 grams of cocaine, a small amount of marijuana, and numerous schedule two and schedule four controlled pills.
At this time, Stauffer was arrested for a slew of drug felonies.
With the added charge of third-degree murder, Stauffer is looking at up to 30 years in prison.
His next hearing is set for September 14.
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