Ashenafi Tegegn Asefa

Ashenafi Tegegn Asefa

Ashenafi Tegegn Asefa, a 29-year-old Eagan man, was charged July 21 in Scott County District Court with third-degree murder after he allegedly sold drugs to a man who later died from “mixed drug toxicity” at the Shakopee Travelodge Feb. 13.

According to charging documents:

On the evening of Feb. 12, the reporting party went to visit her friend, the victim, at the Travelodge to bring him food. She told officers her friend was not feeling well, and said she stayed overnight. The next morning, Feb. 13, the reporting party told authorities she woke up around 9 a.m. to find the victim sleeping on the floor looking “gray and cold.” The reporting party covered the victim with a blanket and left a note which read “you cold + gray not breathing you died I am scare.”

The victim was able to move from the floor to the bed before the reporting party left the hotel.

When the reporting party returned to the victim’s hotel room around 11 p.m. that night, according to charging documents, she found the victim unresponsive and walked to the front desk to call 911. When officers arrived at the scene, they announced the victim dead on arrival.

Officers found methamphetamine in the room near the victim’s body and on the nightstand.

Facebook and phone records show the victim had arranged to meet Asefa to purchase drugs in the early morning hours of Feb. 13, the day the victim died. A witness said the victim “snorted a line of heroin” in Asefa’s room before leaving because the victim had a headache.

Law enforcement also identified a woman who was with Asefa on Feb. 14 in St. Louis Park and was hospitalized for overdosing on heroin Asefa had offered to her.

Asefa’s Facebook records show Asefa sold controlled substances, primarily heroin, and that Asefa was having a conversation with someone on Feb. 15 — two days after the victim’s death — where he appeared to be talking about a friend who overdosed, according to charging documents.

The maximum sentence for Asefa’s charge is 25 years in prison.

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.