September 24, 2023

Sep. 8—ROCHESTER — A 42-year-old former Rochester man pleaded guilty to felony second-degree manslaughter as part of a plea deal during an Olmsted County District Court hearing on Friday, Aug. 8, 2023.

Antonio Terrell Beasley was initially charged in 2018 with third-degree murder and a third-degree controlled substance crime, both felonies. His plea agreement caps a prison sentence to 108 months, which will run concurrently with a 192-month prison sentence in 2018 related to selling heroin in Rochester.

Beasley is currently incarcerated in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater. His next court date is scheduled for Sept. 12.

Beasley has two prior convictions for

selling controlled substances

in Southeast Minnesota,

which go back to 2005.

Prosecutors believed Beasley transported heroin from Illinois to Minnesota and was heavily involved in the heroin trade in Rochester. While he was convicted of selling drugs in Minnesota, a jury acquitted him on a charge related to importing drugs in 2018.

According to court documents:

The murder charge stems from an April 21, 2017 overdose death of a 25-year-old Oronoco man.

Deputies with the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office were called to an apartment in Oronoco on that day around 8:13 p.m. to conduct a welfare check on the occupant after no one had been able to make contact with the man, according to court documents.

A deputy entered the apartment and found the man dead in a bathroom. In the apartment, the deputy observed a small, plastic bag marked with a black spade symbol. The bag had a powdery material on top of it, along with a hypodermic needle. There was also an uncapped hypodermic needle and a metal spoon.

An autopsy revealed the man died of “multi-drug toxicity and overdose with presence of heroin, acryl fentanyl, morphine, buprenorphine and codeine.”

Acrylfentanyl is a potent opioid and relatively uncommon fentanyl analog.

On the man’s phone, deputies found text messages from April 20, 2017, to the early morning hours of April 21, 2017, between the man and a woman that “appeared to primarily concern drug use,” according to court documents.

Deputies interviewed the woman, who said she introduced the man to Beasley so he could buy heroin from Beasley.

In June 2017, investigators with the Rochester Police Department conducted controlled buys of heroin from Beasley using a confidential informant. The packages bought by the informant and the ones found in the man’s apartment both had the black spade symbol, and investigators believed the two to be identical, according to court documents.

An analysis was also conducted by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and found that both packages contained acrylfentanyl.

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