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Plea bargain reached in fatal heroin overdose case

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Ted Sullivan
July 25, 2008
— The reckless homicide charge has been dismissed against a Pell Lake woman accused of dealing the heroin that killed an Elkhorn resident in April 2006.

Ladine L. Osinski, 39, appeared in Walworth County Court Thursday and pleaded guilty to felony forgery, felony bail jumping and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.


The reckless homicide charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement.


Investigators could never tie Osinski to the heroin that Rebecca H. Monroe took April 3, 2006, when she fatally overdosed, Walworth County District Attorney Phil Koss said.


“We can’t prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she was” part of the heroin chain, Koss said after the court hearing.


Donna Kuchler, Osinski’s defense attorney, said after the court hearing that surveillance video from a gas station proved her client was innocent of the reckless homicide charge.


“She wasn’t present the night that heroin was delivered to the young woman who died,” Kuchler said.


The family of the woman who died approved of the plea bargain, Koss said, and the state was satisfied that Osinski pleaded guilty to other felony charges.


Co-defendants Devis K. Osinski, 44, Pell Lake, and Jermal A. Johnson, 38, Zion, Ill., also were charged with reckless homicide in the woman’s death.


Devis Osinski pleaded guilty last month to two felony charges of party to delivering heroin, felony bail jumping and misdemeanor failure to report a crime.


In exchange for his plea, the reckless homicide charge was dismissed because of a lack of evidence, Koss said last month.


Devis Osinski faces a maximum of 18 years in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 24.


Johnson has pleaded not guilty to reckless homicide, according to court records. A trial date has not been set.


The Osinskis and Johnson are accused of handling the heroin that killed Monroe, according to the criminal complaint. The Osinskis are siblings.


The three were charged with reckless homicide under Wisconsin’s Len Bias Law. The law allows prosecutors to charge homicide against people suspected of providing drugs that cause deaths by overdose.


In court Thursday, Ladine Osinski, wearing cuffs and an orange jailhouse suit, told the judge she understood that she faces up to 12 years in prison. She also said she understood the plea agreement.


Osinski was charged with forging a check in January 2006, Judge James Carlson said in court Thursday. The bail jumping charge stems from violations to the conditions of her release in June 2006 while other charges were pending.


Osinski will be sentenced Oct. 9.



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