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New Berlin man sentenced to prison in drug death case

April 1, 2014

New Berlin — Erin Heinz, 20, who pleaded no contest to a charge of first-degree reckless homicide in connection with a drug death last year in New Berlin, was sentenced to seven years in prison and five years extended supervision.

Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Lloyd Carter handed down the sentence last week.

Heinz was accused of supplying heroin to Jeremiah Schroeder, who in turn is accused of cooking it and helping Cassandra Lutz, 26, inject it in the New Berlin apartment of a friend. Lutz later died. The Waukesha County Medical Examiners Office determined that opiate intoxication was a substantial factor in Lutz's death. The incident happened in March 2013.

Schroeder and the friend in whose apartment the alleged drug-taking took place both face multiple felony charges and are scheduled for a jury trial before Carter on June 10.

Both Schroeder and the friend, Jennifer Schroeder, to whom he is not related, face felony charges of first-degree reckless homicide, manufacture/delivery of heroin and possession of narcotics, plus a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. In addition, Jennifer Schroeder is charged with maintaining a drug trafficking place, a felony.

Heinz was similarly charged with two counts of manufacture/delivery of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia, in addition to reckless homicide. The other charges were dismissed, but were read into the record.

Jeremiah Schroeder, the alleged middle man in the case, was out on the streets because of a deferred prosecution deal made in 2012. Schroeder of West Allis had pleaded guilty to maintaining a drug trafficking place and to possession of heroin with intent to deliver. But prosecution was deferred and Schroeder was released with the agreement that he would get drug treatment and supervision, which he did.

But after the charges involving the death in New Berlin, the deal was revoked and he was sentenced by Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Glenn Yamahiro to 18 months in prison and 24 months extended supervision on each charge to run concurrently. He had originally signed off on the deferred prosecution agreement.

— Jane Ford-Stewart

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