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Prineville man gets 2 years in prison for selling woman pill laced with fentanyl, leading to fatal overdose

Matthew Ryan Huemann
Crook County Sheriff's Office
Matthew Ryan Huemann

(Update: DA corrects age of victim's child; adding booking photo)

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Prineville man has received a two-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to criminally negligent homicide for selling a counterfeit Percocet containing fentanyl to a 22-year-old woman who fatally overdosed in January, leaving behind a 3-year-old son.

Matthew Ryan Huemann, 29, also pleaded guilty to a drug delivery charge and was sentenced Friday by Crook County Circuit Judge Daniel Ahern to a 2-year prison term and three years’ post-prison supervision, said District Attorney Kari Hathorn.

Nina Richardson, also of Prineville, died on Jan. 24 after overdosing on the counterfeit pill, Hathorn said. Law enforcement determined Huemann sold the pill to her, knowing it contained highly lethal fentanyl, the DA said.

“Huemann took early accountability for his role in Ms. Richardson’s death and was very remorseful,” Hathorn said in a news release Monday.

In his guilty plea petition, Huemann wrote: "I could not be more sorry for what I have done."

"Drug overdoses, in particular overdoses from fentanyl, are a national epidemic," Hathorn wrote. "Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is about 100 times more potent. Many counterfeit pills are made to look like prescription medications such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), alprazolam (Xanax), or amphetamines (Adderall).

"However, these fake prescription pills often contain a potentially deadly dose of fentanyl. DEA lab testing has found that four out of every 10 pills with fentanyl contains a potentially lethal dose. Between 2020 and 2021, overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl, rose 55.6 percent," the DA said.

"The District Attorney’s Office would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of Ms. Richardson," she added.

The case was investigated by the Prineville Police Department, the Crook County Sheriff’s Office, the Crook County Parole and Probation Department, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement team. The State of Oregon was represented by Sarah Lundstedt, Chief Deputy District Attorney for Crook County and prior acting District Attorney Dan Wendel from the state Department of Justice.

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts

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