By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — A 31-year-old man on extended supervision stemming from a 2009 armed robbery is facing felony charges in connection with the near-fatal overdose of a Wausau man that happened in January.
Bryant Sims, of Wausau, faces charges of first-degree recklessly endangering safety and manufacturing or delivering heroin in a case filed April 1 in Marathon County Circuit Court. Sims is the third suspect charged in connection with the Jan. 20, 2019 incident.
On Jan. 20, police and emergency crews were called to a home on North 8th Avenue in Wausau for a report of a 30-year-old man whose mother found him lying on the bathroom floor gasping for air, according to court records. Police say a needle was lying next to the man and a bloody spoon was lying on the sink nearby. The man, who did survive the overdose, was taken to a local hospital and admitted into the intensive care unit.
One day later, the victim told police he had struggled with addiction from an early age, when he had his wisdom teeth removed and was prescribed Vicodin for pain, court filings show. That addiction led the man to abuse oxycodone and OxyContin before he eventually turned to heroin, police said, but the man claims he had been clean for about two years until a few days prior to his near overdose.
According to court documents the victim told police he bought the drugs from 31-year-old Megan Justman, of Wausau, with whom he had been texting and messaging through social media. He said Justman appeared unannounced at the west-side bar and restaurant in which he worked, offering to sell him $100 worth of heroin. Justman then allegedly arranged the purchase between the victim and another man, 40-year-old Kenneth Sherman, who was seated with Justman at a table in the restaurant and was allegedly identified through surveillance video.
Police had also received an earlier tip that Justman and Sherman were selling drugs together and were investigating that tip, according to court filings. Both Justman and Sherman are also facing charges in connection with the man’s overdose.
As the investigation continued, police determined Sherman allegedly bought the drugs he sold to the victim from Sims.
Court records show Sims was convicted in August 2010 of armed robbery in a Lincoln County case and was released from prison on July 5, 2016. Sims has been on extended supervision by the Department of Corrections since his release. The new charges carry a combined maximum 25-year prison term penalty, but by breaking the rules of his supervision Sims could also be sent back to prison for an additional 12 years for the armed robbery.
A date for an initial appearance has not yet been set for Sims, who is not in custody at this time.