Teen overdose victim had 20 times normal dosage in his body

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Ted Sullivan
March 12, 2010
— Ashlee R. Brown had a plastic bag half full of oxycodone pills when she met her boyfriend and Alexander Aiken, who swallowed and snorted four tablets.

Aiken, 13, Milton Township, died hours later, and an autopsy revealed he had 20 times the normal dosage of oxycodone in his body.

Those were among the details released Thursday in a criminal complaint charging Brown, 14, with first-degree reckless homicide in adult court.

Brown, 10956 N. Gladys Drive East, Edgerton, appeared in Rock County Court on Thursday and was ordered held in juvenile detention on $100,000 cash bond. The Gazette is reporting Brown’s name because she is charged in adult court.

District Attorney David O'Leary said after the hearing that plea negotiations are ongoing in the case, which could get sent to juvenile court. He said Brown would remain in adult court for now because she dealt drugs to children and the charge is serious.

“We want the message to be loud and clear that we don’t take these things lightly,” O’Leary said. “It’s heartbreaking that we’re prosecuting someone so young for such a serious offense.”

If convicted in adult court, Brown would face up to 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

If the case is sent to juvenile court, she would face up to three years in juvenile detention followed by juvenile probation.

O’Leary said attorneys, Brown’s family and Aiken’s family would be included in the decision about a plea agreement. He said Brown’s chances for rehabilitation also would be considered.

Brown was charged in adult court because Wisconsin Statutes require children accused of homicide must initially be charged in adult court but can be waived to juvenile court. She will remain in juvenile detention while in adult court because she isn’t 15 years old.

Brown was expelled in 2009 for bringing 27 half tablets of oxycodone to school, officials said.

According to the criminal complaint in the homicide:

A drug overdose was reported at 7:02 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9, at Aiken’s home at 1619 East Road 1, Milton Township.

Aiken’s mother, Jennifer Bethel, said Aiken had a 13-year-old boy sleep over. She said she tried to awaken Aiken and his friend for school at 6:50 a.m. Aiken was cold, blue and not breathing.

Bethel yelled for her husband, Preston Bethel, to call 911. Aiken was pronounced dead at Edgerton Hospital and Health Services.

Aiken’s friend told detectives they received the drugs from Brown, who was his girlfriend. Brown is accused of taking the pills from her grandmother’s home, sheriff’s officials said.

The boys met Brown at 5:45 p.m. at Aiken’s friend’s house. Aiken asked for some pills. His friend told him it might not be a good idea for him to take oxycodone because he was on other medications.

Aiken told his friend he would be fine and took four of the pills. He swallowed at least one pill and crushed and snorted another. His friend also took one pill.

Aiken’s friend said the oxycodone made him vomit. He said Aiken seemed fine. The boys later watched TV and played video games at Aiken’s home.

Aiken told his friend he didn’t feel well. He also vomited one time. The boys later went to sleep. The next morning Aiken was dead.

An autopsy revealed that Aiken had three 80-milligram oxycodone pills in his stomach. The Rock County Coroner’s Office ruled Aiken’s cause of death drug toxicity.

Aiken’s friend faces a charge of disorderly conduct in juvenile court for swearing at teachers and the principal at Edgerton Middle School before his arrest. He was ordered released on home detention to his mother.

The friend was arrested on a charge of possession of prescription medication, attorneys said. The Rock County District Attorney’s Office has not decided whether to charge him for that crime.

Brown is scheduled to appear in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

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