Not guilty plea in Austin drug death

Rochester woman accused of providing the heroin.

Posted: Nov. 17, 2017 11:07 AM

AUSTIN, Minn. – A Rochester woman accused of providing the drugs in a fatal overdose is pleading not guilty.

39-year-old Desiree Marie Franken is charged with 3rd degree murder and 3rd degree sale of drugs in Mower County. On June 7, Austin police were called to the 800 block of 8th Avenue SE for an unresponsive woman. An officer arrived to find the victim dead in her bed. Police say there was a fresh injection mark on her left arm and they found syringes, methamphetamine, and heroin in the room.

An autopsy found the woman died from a toxic mix of heroin, fentanyl, and meth.

The victim’s mother told a detective that her daughter had been visited by Franken on June 6. Authorities say text messages between Franken and the victim discussed Franken selling the woman some heroin. On June 8, police searched Franken’s home in Rochester and say she admitted selling heroin to the victim when she visited her.

Franken is set to stand trial on April 2, 2018.

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