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Suspect in drug overdose death files motion in Douglas County to avoid jail time

A downward dispositional departure was filed in the case against Montana Hedstrom. This 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.

EP Court News
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ALEXANDRIA — An attorney in the Montana Hedstrom case has filed a motion for downward dispositional departure, which if granted would result in no jail time.

The motion was filed in Douglas County District Court on Oct. 19 by Hedstrom's attorney, Wendy L. Sturm.

A downward dispositional departure 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.

As grounds for the downward dispositional departure, the motion reads:

  • Defendant is particularly amenable to probation.
  • Defendant is particularly suitable to individualized treatment in a probation setting.
  • Defendant has the support of friends and/or family.
  • Defendant has significant community resources available in the form of aftercare programming.

Montana Evelyn Marie Hedstrom, 31, was found guilty of controlled substance crime in the third degree — sale of a narcotic drug, following a trial held in Douglas County District Court on Sept. 12-15.

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Montana Hedstrom

The maximum sentence for the charge is 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

A further charge of murder in the third degree was dropped before the court trial began.

The charges 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 Rachel Rae MacMillan, 24, 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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Rachel MacMillan

MacMillan was previously set to go to trial for the charges of murder in the third degree and controlled substance crime in the third degree — sale of a narcotic drug, but she pleaded guilty to the latter 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.

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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.

Hedstrom is set to be sentenced on Nov. 29.

MacMillan is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 17.

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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