A Ham Lake man has been accused in Anoka County District Court of providing heroin to a 28-year-old woman, who died in March 2013 after she overdosed.
The Anoka County Attorney’s Office has charged Rex Dallas David Fernald. 22, with one felony count of third-degree murder. The maximum sentence for a conviction is 25 years. Bail was set at $500,000 Fernald’s at his arraignment Jan. 17.
According to the criminal complaint, Anoka County Sheriff’s Office deputies 11:46 a.m. March 10, 2013 were dispatched to a Ham Lake home on 164th Avenue on a death report.
Deputies found a 59-year-old man holding a 28-year-old woman who was unresponsive, did not have a pulse and was cool to the touch.
The man told police that she was a recovering heroin user. She had gone outside for a few moments during the evening of March 9, 2013 to meet with two people and she appeared to be on her cell phone at the time. She then re-entered the home and went to her room.
The man told police that on the morning of March 10, 2013, he forced his way into the locked bedroom and found her dead on the floor.
Deputies found a small plastic bag, spoon and syringe and her cell phone in her room. During a forensic examination of her phone, law enforcement discovered several texts from “Dallis” and a records search of the phone number allegedly led authorities to Fernald.
The complaint alleges that seven texts were sent by Fernald to the victim. None of the seven texts highlighted in the complaint included the word “heroin,” but the first text sent at 2:10 p.m. March 9, 2013 read, “My friend has some really good (expletive) right now so I’m trying to sell some for him to make some money and he might give me some or money and I will give it to you, but it won’t be for a couple of days.”
The second text in the complaint sent at 2:17 p.m. March 9, 2013 read, “I could have him front me some and bring it to you probably. You NEED to be very careful though. I know someone who died off this (expletive) last week. It is very, very good so only do a little bit at a time.”
The last text detailed in the complaint sent at 3 a.m. March 10, 2013 read, “Why aren’t you calling me back, are you mad at me. I didn’t short you.”
A March 11, 2013 autopsy showed that the victim’s cause of death was attributed to a mixed drug toxicity of heroin and meth, according to the complaint.
In a post-Miranda statement Jan. 16, Fernald allegedly admitted to bringing the woman heroin the evening of March 9, 2013, but alleged she refused to take it because he had “shorted her.”
Fernald has been convicted of two felony drug possession charges, according to the complaint. He was convicted Dec. 16, 2011 on fifth-degree possession for having 478 grams of methamphetamine. He was convicted June 11, 2013 on fifth-degree possession after he failed urinalysis that tested positive for heroin.
Eric Hagen is at