Man pleads guilty to murder in drug case

A man, accused in Anoka County District Court of causing the death of a Coon Rapids woman by giving her a controlled substance, has pleaded guilty to a third-degree murder charge.

Jerry Lynn McCleskey, 60, Fridley, entered his guilty plea to the felony count April 3 and will be sentenced June 5.

Judge Douglas Meslow ordered a presentence investigation and in the meantime, McCleskey, who remains free on $50,000 bail, is to have no alcohol or controlled substance use and submit to chemical testing.

The Anoka County Attorney’s Office filed the third-degree murder charge against McCleskey May 28, 2013, following an investigation into the death of a woman at an address on the 10300 block of Butternut Street Northwest, Coon Rapids, Aug. 26, 2012. McCleskey made his first court appearance July 9, 2013.

McCleskey made the 911 call to Coon Rapids Police Aug. 26, 2012, telling officers he had spent the night with the woman at her residence because she was not feeling well and when he awoke in the morning, he found her unresponsive and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the complaint, police located three pills on a table next to the woman’s body with the inscription MS30 on them and when interviewed at the scene, McCleskey admitted the pills were his and he had given two of them to the woman the previous evening, plus one the day before and two the day before that.

MS30 is a morphine sulfate.

While being transported to the Anoka County Jail, McCleskey said it was possible that the medication he had given the woman, a couple of them, might cause her death, but he did not give her enough to cause an overdose.

Interviewed by an investigator, McCleskey’s roommate said McCleskey had called him the morning of Aug. 26, 2012, in a panic, stating the woman was cold and dead and when he went to the woman’s home at McCleskey’s request, he found that McCleskey had not called 911, which he told him to do, and McCleskey gave him a prescriptive bottle of pills to take home.

The roommate gave the detective the bottle of pills, which had etchings of MS and 30 on them, and they appeared to be a match for the pills found near the woman’s body, according to the complaint.

In an interview with a detective Aug. 28, 2012, McCleskey admitted giving the woman five pills and watched her take a couple, stating that the woman asked him to bring the pills over Aug, 25, 2012.

The complaint states that the woman’s cellphone records of text messages between her and McCleskey show her asking him if he had any more pills to share with her and him responding that he did and would be over soon.

Toxicology testing performed on the woman at the autopsy “show a morphine level associated with toxicity as well as a cyclobenazaprine level supratherapeutic.”

Cyclobenazaprine is a muscle relaxant to help alleviate pain, while supratherapeutic means above the therapeutic level.

A review of the woman’s prescription history revealed no prescriptions for morphine or cyclobenazaprine, the complaint states.

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