Willmar woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in 19-year-old's overdose death
Makayla Marie Oothoudt Willprecht, 21, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Kandiyohi County District Court to second-degree manslaughter in an overdose death. Willprecht had also been charged with third-degree murder, which will be dismissed in a plea agreement. An investigation revealed that she had helped supply pills to 19-year-old Samantha Jean Myers of Pennock. Myers died April 16, 2022, in New London. The cause of death was the effects of fentanyl.
WILLMAR — The 21-year-old Willmar woman charged in an April overdose death pleaded guilty Wednesday to second-degree manslaughter.
Makayla Marie Oothoudt Willprecht was arrested in May for helping 19-year-old Samantha Jean Myers, of Pennock, arrange a purchase of pills, which were ultimately deemed the cause of Myers’ death at a friend's house in New London.
Willprecht had pleaded not guilty in September to third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, but entered an amended plea Wednesday in Kandiyohi County District Court.
In exchange for her plea, the state agreed to dismiss the murder charge and all the other misdemeanor drug charges pending in a separate case.
Photo Contributed: Kandiyohi County Jail
Both attorneys agreed to a joint recommendation for a "middle of the box" sentence, according to the plea agreement, which means the "presumptive, fixed sentence" under Minnesota's sentencing guidelines.
The grid system of the guidelines is based on the severity of the offense and the offender's criminal history score. Under statute, there is a single presumptive sentence in each grid box and also a discretionary range, referred to as “bottom of the box” and “top of the box.”
Judge Stephen Wentzell ordered a pre-sentence investigation, which among other things documents a defendant's criminal record for sentencing purposes.
Willprecht will be held in custody until her sentencing hearing which is scheduled for Dec. 6, 2022.
According to the criminal complaint, Willprecht allegedly picked up pills from a Willmar man — 20-year-old Hudeife Muhumed Mire, of Willmar — and gave them to Myers a few hours before she died on April 16, 2022.
Friends at the home where Myers died started CPR when they found her unresponsive in a bathroom, according to the complaint. Medics took over when they arrived and administered naloxone, the opioid-overdose antidote that is often referred to by the brand name Narcan.
The Midwest Medical Examiner's Office found fentanyl and norfentanyl in Myers' system during an autopsy, according to court records. The cause of death was listed as the effects of fentanyl. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80-100 times stronger than morphine, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
Willprecht and Mire were each charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
The third-degree murder charges allege that the two caused Myers’ death without intending it, through providing a controlled substance. The manslaughter charge alleges they caused her death by negligence that caused an unreasonable risk of causing death or great bodily harm.
Mire also faces three drug charges, two first-degree sale charges and one count of second-degree possession. Law enforcement officers found more than 1,600 pills in a search of Mire’s apartment during the investigation, according to court documents.
Mire was released in June on a $300,000 non-cash bond but hasn’t been seen since. An active warrant is currently out for his arrest.