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Wausau man charged in weekend near-fatal heroin overdose

in Sirens

By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — The boyfriend of a woman who died in 2018 from a suspected overdose is accused of providing heroin to the woman’s sister, who overdosed and nearly died Saturday in Wausau.

John D. James, 52, faces charges of first degree recklessly endangering safety and manufacturing or delivering heroin in a case filed April 29 in Marathon County Circuit Court.

The charges were filed following an investigation into a near-fatal heroin overdose reported just after 7 p.m. Saturday in the 1000 block of South Fourth Avenue. Police were called to the residence for a report of a woman who had fallen in the bathroom and was unresponsive.

Paramedics administered at least two doses of Narcan to counteract the opioid and the woman was revived before being taken to a local hospital for treatment, according to court records.

Through the course of the investigation, police identified the man suspected of providing heroin to the woman as James, court documents state. Police say the victim of the Saturday overdose is the sister of the woman who was dating James at the time of her death.

James was located at a Wausau tavern late Saturday after an anonymous tipster called in his location.

During an initial appearance April 29 Circuit Judge Mike Moran ordered James held on a $3,000 bond, the first $500 to be paid in cash. Court records show James paid the cash bond May 1 and was released.

If James is convicted on both charges, he faces up to 25 years in the Wisconsin Prison System and up to $50,000 in fines. A preliminary hearing is set for May 13.

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