Teen pleads guilty in overdose death

Published 2:28pm Saturday, August 9, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — A 19-year-old has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for providing a synthetic drug to a classmate who died of an overdose.

Reports said Cole A. Matenaer, of Woodbury, pleaded guilty to providing a designer psychedelic drug similar to LSD that killed 17-year-old Tara Fitzgerald on Jan. 11, just hours after she took it. She was a Woodbury High School junior.

Four others also face third-degree murder charges related to the sale and distribution of controlled substances.

Prosecutors say they were part of a Washington County drug-dealing chain.

Matenaer is scheduled to be sentenced in October. Fred Fink, head of the criminal division in the Washington County attorney’s office, says a prison sentence of 74 to 103 months is likely, though the judge has discretion.