Prosecutors charge drug suspect in man's fatal overdose

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Nico Savidge
Thursday, September 12, 2013

ELKHORN—A Racine County man is facing a charge of reckless homicide in Walworth County after authorities say he sold heroin to a man that died from an overdose in June.

Stanley A. Bies, 41, of Union Grove, sold half a gram of heroin to Craig C. Ankney and two other people at a town of Sugar Creek home June 29, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday in Walworth County Court.

Later that night, the home's owner found Ankney lying on his bed. He wasn't breathing and the woman couldn't find his pulse, authorities said.

Ankney was pronounced dead at the home and an autopsy later showed he died from a heroin overdose, according to the complaint.

Prosecutors have charged Bies with first-degree reckless homicide, alleging he caused Ankney's death by selling him drugs.

Bies was charged under what's known as the state's “Len Bias law,” so named for the former University of Maryland basketball star that died from a cocaine overdose in 1986.

The law allows prosecutors to charge dealers with reckless homicide if they sell drugs to people who later die from an overdose.

Although state legislators passed the law in 1989, Walworth County authorities first charged a defendant under it 17 years later. Three people faced reckless homicide charges for providing heroin to a woman who overdosed in 2006, according to Gazette archives, though the charge was ultimately dropped in each case as part of plea deals.

More recently, Walworth County Judge John Race sentenced an Illinois woman to five years in prison after she was convicted under the law last November, court records show.

The reckless homicide case marks the second time Walworth County prosecutors have filed charges against Bies this month.

Bies was charged with six counts of heroin distribution Sept. 4 after selling just over 20 grams of heroin to a confidential informant over six deals at an East Troy gas station, according to the criminal complaint for that case.

Bies made his initial appearance in the reckless homicide case while in custody on Tuesday, court records show.

He is next due in court for hearings in both cases Friday, Sept. 20.

The drug charges add up to a maximum sentence of up to 92 years in prison, while he could spend up to 40 years in prison if convicted of reckless homicide.

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