Guilty Plea in Drug Overdose Death of Little Falls Man
LITTLE FALLS -- A Little Falls man has pleaded guilty to one count of 3rd-degree murder in the overdose death of another man. Twenty-five-year-old Jerad Whitford pleaded guilty Wednesday after the Minnesota Court of Appeals reinstated murder charges against him.
Whitford is among three defendants charged with providing heroin to Travis Scherping of Little falls who died of an overdose.
Morrison County Judge Douglas Anderson previously dismissed the charge against Whitford last August. The Morrison County Attorney's Office appealed and had the decision reversed.
As a result, Whitford agreed to a plea agreement on the charge and will testify against co-defendant Jason White at his upcoming trial. A previous trial against White ended in a hung jury. Another co-defendant, Callie Statema has already pleaded guilty to 3rd-degree murder and will be sentenced Friday.
The Morrison County Sheriff's Office says Statema gave Whitford $450 in June 2016 to buy the heroin from White and then Statema then sold it to Scherping.
As a result of the plea agreement, Whitford will be sentenced to five years in prison following his testimony at White's trial later this summer.