Hastings man charged with murder in overdose death

Jason Michael Slattum Photo: Dakota County Jail. Jason Michael Slattum

Josh Skluzacek
Updated: September 03, 2020 05:10 PM
Created: September 03, 2020 04:49 PM

A Hastings man has been charged with murder in connection to an overdose death in July.

The Dakota County Attorney's Office said 41-year-old Jason Michael Slattum is charged with one count of third-degree murder for providing the heroin that caused 50-year-old Michelle Marie Cahill to die of an overdose.

A criminal complaint states police officers in Hastings responded to a reported medical emergency at an apartment complex at about 5:15 a.m. on July 11. When they arrived, officers found a man who said his wife, Cahill, was in their bedroom. Officers found Cahill on the floor next to the bed, unconscious and not breathing.

Attempts to revive Cahill were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead, according to the complaint. An autopsy later determined she died from mixed drug toxicity, which showed heroin mixed with fentanyl.

Inside the bedroom, an officer found a brown, powdery substance and a straw. The substance later tested positive for fentanyl. The complaint states Cahill's husband told officers the substance was heroin that they'd purchased from someone known as "Jay," who was later identified as Slattum. Cahill's husband said they ingested the heroin at around 11:30 p.m. the night before and he found his wife unconscious when he woke up.

The complaint states Cahill's cellphone confirmed text messages to Slattum setting up the heroin purchase. Authorities were able to trace the number to determine Slattum's identity, and officers then executed a search warrant at his residence on Sept. 1. There, Slattum was arrested, and he later admitted to selling meth and heroin to Cahill's husband on prior occasions and a half gram of heroin the last time they'd met.

Slattum made his first court appearance Thursday and had his bail set at $500,000 without conditions or $300,000 with conditions.

His next court appearance is set for Sept. 10.

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