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MacMillan sentenced to 46 months in drug overdose case

MacMillan was given 297 days credit for time served, and must pay several fees amounting to $135.

EP Court News
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ALEXANDRIA — One of the women formerly charged with murder in the third degree in relation to a drug overdose death has been sentenced.

Rachel Rae MacMillan, 25, of Fergus Falls, was sentenced to 46 months in the correctional facility at Shakopee in a hearing that took place on Thursday, Nov. 17, in Douglas County District Court.

MacMillan was given 297 days credit for time served, and must pay several fees amounting to $135.

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Rachel MacMillan

The charge for which she was sentenced was controlled substance crime in the third degree, a felony that carried a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

A charge of murder in the third degree was dropped against MacMillan, as well as Montana Evelyn Marie Hedstrom, 31, earlier this year.

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Hedstrom has been convicted of a third degree controlled substance crime after a trial in September, but her sentencing has yet to take place, and is scheduled for later this month.

On Sept. 15, a release order for Hedstrom was issued requiring $100,000 unconditional bail and $20,000 bond or $2,000 cash bail without conditions.

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Montana Hedstrom

According to court documents, Hedstrom's attorney requested a modification of her conditional release, asking that Hedstrom's monetary bail be reduced to zero so she could be released to Northstar Behavioral Health. This request was denied on Nov. 8.

In October, Hedstrom's attorney filed a motion for downward dispositional departure, which is a request to stay the execution of jail time in a felony case, and impose a stay of execution, a stay of imposition, or a stay of adjudication instead.

The charges against both women were filed following the drug overdose death of an Elbow Lake man, who was found not breathing in his home on March 2, 2021.

He died several days later at a St. Cloud hospital of an overdose, according to a press release from the Grant County Sheriff's Office.

Rock-like substances in the man's possession subsequently tested positive for fentanyl and heroin, the statement of probable cause read.

Through examination of text messages, interviews and other efforts, investigators determined that Hedstrom and MacMillan allegedly provided the man with the drugs that led to his death. The transaction took place in the Alexandria Walmart parking lot.

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MacMillan was previously set to go to trial for the charges against her, but she pleaded guilty to the controlled substance crime in Douglas County District Court on Friday, Aug. 19.

On Feb. 11, 2022, MacMillan was interviewed at the Otter Tail County Jail, and she admitted that a drug exchange did occur on March 2, 2021, the statement of probable cause read, adding that Hedstrom texted the man to arrange the sale.

In a hearing in August, MacMillan testified that while she did give the drugs to the man, she did not orchestrate the arrangement, and she did not know a drug deal was going to take place.

MacMillan also testified that Hedstrom was the one who made the arrangements and later said the substance was fake heroin.

William Gray Peterson

Bail has been set in the case of William Gray Peterson, 38, who is charged with one count of felony criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and two counts of felony criminal sexual conduct in the second degree.

The maximum sentence for the first charge is 144 months to 30 years imprisonment and/or a $40,000 fine, and the maximum sentence for the other two charges is 90 months to 25 years imprisonment and/or a $35,000 fine.

All three charges specify that Peterson unlawfully engaged in sexual contact with a victim under 13 years of age.

Bail or bond has been set at $30,000 with no conditions, according to a document filed Nov. 16 in Douglas County District Court.

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Peterson also has to follow a number of conditions, including having no contact with his alleged victim, making all future court appearances and having no contact with persons under the age of 18.

Peterson's charges stem from a series of incidents in which he allegedly sexually assaulted a young girl on three separate occasions, according to the statement of probable cause.

Travis Gulbrandson covers several beats, including Osakis School Board and Osakis City Council, along with the Brandon-Evansville School Board. His focus will also be on crime and court news.
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