Marshfield woman, 28, pleads not guilty in heroin overdose death

WAUSAU (WAOW) – A 28-year-old Marshfield woman accused of supplying fentanyl-laced heroin that killed a 22-year-old Spencer man found dead in his bedroom pleaded not guilty Friday, according to online Marathon County court records.

Cassandra Staab is charged with first-degree reckless homicide and first-degree recklessly endangering safety in the Jan. 31, 2017, death of Thomas Bychinski. No trial date was immediately set, court records said.

The criminal complaint details how three friends in Spencer, a western Marathon County city of about 2,000 people, obtained and used heroin,and the heroin that killed Bychinski, who worked in Abbotsford, had furanyl fentanyl and acryl fentanyl, which police said get sold as a designer drug.

When Bychinski’s body was discovered by two friends, one told police that Bychinski was a "heroin user" and Staab was his source, the complaint said.

The man told investigators that he purchased heroin from Staab at a grocery story parking lot Jan. 30 and smoked some with Bychinski, the complaint said. Another man, the witness’ brother, said he arranged to purchase one gram of heroin from Staab for $250 and has been buying from her for more than a month.

The man said Staab told him the heroin was "very potent, powerful stuff," the complaint said.

The man told investigators he once went to Milwaukee with Staab to purchase $800 worth of heroin and he got a gram for driving because his brother and Staab were "shooting up" on the trip, the complaint said.

The brothers told police they did not give Bychinsky the heroin and he may have found it in the garage, the complaint said.

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