By Shereen Siewert
A 27-year-old Marshfield woman will spend 12 years in prison followed by 13 years of extended supervision for supplying fentalyl-laced heroin that killed a Spencer man.
Cassandra Staab was convicted by a jury in September following a four-day trial in Marathon County Circuit Court. On Tuesday, Circuit Judge Jill Falstad sentenced Staab on charges of first degree reckless homicide, first degree recklessly endangering safety and bail jumping.
Falstad also ordered Staab to pay restitution of $4,199.68 to the victim’s family and write a letter of apology to the victim’s father. The letter is to be written within 30 days.
Police say Staab, of Marshfield, sold the deadly heroin cocktail that caused 22-year-old Thomas Bychinski’s death. Heroin laced with fentanyl is particularly dangerous, 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin, making the combined drugs especially deadly, according to police.
On Jan. 31, 2017 police were called to a home on Hansen Road in Spencer after two people found Bychinski’s body, according to the police report. During the investigation, police learned Staab was Bychinski’s regular source for heroin, the report stated.
The emergence of fentanyl-laced heroin in Marathon County in June 2016 prompted police to issue a warning to residents about the danger surrounding the drug. At that time, a highly potent strain had been circulating the area that was blamed for at least one death and eight other heroin overdoses in a 10-day span.
Staab is already serving a 2 1/2 – year prison sentence in an unrelated Wood County heroin trafficking case at Taycheedah Correctional Institution.