By Shereen Siewert
An arrest warrant has been issued for a 42-year-old Wausau man accused of supplying heroin and designer drugs to an apartment where a man died after consuming drugs with a group of friends.
Otha C. Franklin, who has four previous open felony cases in Marathon County, is now wanted on felony charges of delivering heroin, delivering designer drugs and four counts of bail jumping as a result of the ongoing investigation into the July 6 death.
Circuit Judge LaMont Jacobson issued a warrant for Franklin’s arrest on July 10.
According to court documents police and rescue crews were called at 4:16 a.m. July 6 to an apartment in The Landmark, 222 Scott St., for a report of a man who was unresponsive. The man did not have a pulse and was cool to the touch when an officer arrived on scene. The officer performed chest compressions until EMTs arrived, but the man did not survive.
Prosecutors say the death remains under investigation.
The man’s girlfriend told police that she and her boyfriend were at a friend’s apartment, also in the Landmark, where they used meth and snorted ecstasy pills that were laced with heroin. The woman alleges that Franklin brought the pills to the apartment.
In addition to the most recent charges, court records show Franklin’s open cases include charges of substantial battery, burglary, receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, cocaine possession, resisting or obstructing an officer and bail jumping.
In December 2019 Franklin was ordered held on a $3,000 cash bond, but court records show he posted bond in April and was released pending trial.
Franklin faces a maximum penalty of up to 49 years in the Wisconsin prison system if he is convicted on the latest charges alone.
As of July 16, Franklin remained at large.