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October 27, 2021

10/1/2021 1:24:00 PM
Overdose death in jail results in third degree murder charges

An area man has been charged with third degree murder in connection with a drug-related fatality earlier this year at the Chisago County Jail.  Authorities report John Hofer, Stacy, age 37, is facing one felony count of providing the methamphetamine that led to the death of Erik Nielsen, 51.  

As of Sept 23 Hofer is being held with bail set at $100,000 conditional and $250,000 unconditional release terms. His next court date is Oct 6.

The victim, Nielsen,  came to be in the Center City jail July 22 on an Anoka County warrant which came to light when he was stopped for a traffic violation at Hemmingway and 400th, by a Chisago patrol deputy.  Nielsen told the deputy he had just dropped off some friends near the Knife River Quarry on Harder Avenue.  The complaint noted Nielsen was cooperative and when he first arrived to his cell he was observed doing stretches.  Sheriff staff observed no out of the ordinary behavior.

According to the statement of probable cause filed with the court, Nielsen was videotaped while in the squad being transported to jail, where he was booked at 4:10 a.m.  The squad recording shows him retrieving something from his sock or shoe area and putting the object in his mouth.  He swallowed it.

Nielsen later begins to display symptoms of an overdose and within about two hours after booking he becomes unresponsive.  EMS is not able to revive him, the statement of probable cause declares.

Special agents with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension assisted local investigators in this death investigation. An autopsy confirmed the cause of death was meth toxicity. The medical examiner fund a plastic baggie with perforations in Nielsen’s stomach.





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