By Shereen Siewert
Three people are facing an array of criminal charges after a man was found dead of an apparent drug overdose this week at a Wausau sober living apartment.
Police and emergency crews were dispatched at about 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10 to the 1100 block of West Bridge Street for a report of a man found dead in an apartment who was cold to the touch. A needle was found next to the man’s body, according to court documents.
Investigators tied the death to three suspects who allegedly arranged for and delivered the drugs to the man, whose name has not been released. According to court documents a neighbor, Ledell Kirkwood, arranged for delivery, while two other people, Shawn Rhyner and Brianne Rhyner, are accused of transporting the drugs to the parking lot of the man’s apartment. Their vehicle was captured on video surveillance footage, according to court documents.
Police searched the couple’s home in the 600 block of Hamilton Street and found multiple firearms including an illegal short-barreled shotgun, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. Shawn Rhyner, who was on a deferred prosecution for a felony level charge, was taken into custody and transported to the Marathon County Jail. Brianne Rhyner was also taken into custody and allegedly admitted selling heroin to Kirkwood, who gave the drugs to the man who died.
Kirkwood faces charges filed Feb. 9 in Marathon County Circuit Court of manufacturing or delivering heroin, bail jumping and possessing drug paraphernalia. He was ordered held on a $50,000 cash bond and has a preliminary hearing set for Feb. 20.
Shawn Rhyner, 35, was also charged Feb. 9. He faces charges of manufacturing or delivering heroin, possession of THC with intent to deliver, maintaining a drug trafficking place, possession of a short-barreled shotgun and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was ordered held on a $5,000 cash bond with a preliminary hearing Feb. 20.
Brianne Rhyner, 33, was charged Feb. 10 with identical charges as her husband, along with a charge of bail jumping. She is being held on a $10,000 cash bond.
Additional charges are possible.