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Wausau woman convicted of homicide in drug overdose case

in Sirens

By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — A 31-year-old woman who provided a lethal dose of drugs to a Wausau man in May was convicted Tuesday of reckless homicide by delivery of drugs, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison.

Ashley B. Szarkowitz, 31, of Wausau. Felony charges filed May 22 include first degree reckless homicide by delivery of drugs, and manufacturing or delivering Schedule I or II narcotics.

Ashley B. Szarkowitz appeared Aug. 26 for a hearing in Marathon County Circuit Court after reaching a plea deal, avoiding a trial. A charge of manufacturing or delivering Schedule I or II narcotics was dismissed as part of the agreement.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Szarkowitz was already on community supervision at the time of her arrest, part of a sentence handed down in November 2017 on charges of delivering amphetamine and bail jumping. She was released from prison less than a year before the man’s death.

Ashley Szarkowitz, then 29, in a September 2017 booking photo. Courtesy of the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department

According to the criminal complaint police and rescue crews were called at 1:13 a.m. May 13 to a home in the 2900 block of Christian Avenue for a report of a 24-year-old man who was found unresponsive in a bathroom by his roommate. Paramedics administered two doses of Narcan to the man, but were not successful in reviving him. At 1:40 a.m., lifesaving efforts were discontinued and the man was pronounced dead, the police report states.

The victim’s roommate told police that earlier in the night the victim had been in his bedroom with a woman who left the residence when the body was discovered. Police were able to find Szarkowitz through a vehicle license plate number, according to court documents.

Szarkowitz admitted selling the victim $40 worth of heroin, according to the police report, then told her own roommate, “I gave someone heroin and they overdosed.”

Autopsy results show the victim, whose name is not indicated in the police report, died as a result of mixed drug and alcohol toxicity — a combination of “fentanyl, methamphetamine and ethanol,” court documents state. White powder discovered in the victim’s bedroom tested positive for fentanyl, police said.

Szarkowitz, could also spend an additional three years in prison in the 2017 case.

Circuit Judge Jill Falstad ordered a presentencing investigation be completed before Szarkowitz is sentenced on Nov. 21.

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