Three charged in overdose
Lind victim declared brain dead
By Robert Cloud
A heroin overdose over the Memorial Day weekend led to felony drug charges against three people.
April R. Hardegen, 30, New London, is charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, delivery of heroin and two counts of felony bail jumping. She remains in custody on a $100,000 cash bond.
Patrick M. Rhoden, 36, Appleton, is charged with first-degree reckless endangerment as party to a crime, delivery of heroin and delivery of methamphetamine. He remains in custody on a $50,000 cash bond.
Jessica A. Bell, 39, Wisconsin Rapids, is charged with first-degree reckless endangerment as party to a crime, delivery of heroin, delivery of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine. She remains in custody on a $50,000 cash bond.
According to the criminal complaints, the district attorney’s office anticipates charging the three suspects with reckless homicide if the victim dies.
Shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday, May 30, May’s girlfriend, Bell, called 911 and reported that a man had overdosed and was unconscious.
Waupaca County Deputy Curtis Much was the first to arrive at a home on Bags Hill Road in the town of Lind.
Much found John S. May, 33, lying motionless on the floor. His lips were purplish blue and his skin was pale.
The deputy saw a syringe on the floor and asked Bell what May had taken.
“I don’t know, probably heroin,” Bell replied, according to the complaint.
Bell walked out of the room and sat down on a living room sofa.
“Jessica did not seem concerned nor panicked about Jordan’s condition,” Much reported. “I began life-saving measures.”
Gold Cross paramedics arrived and connected their monitor to Much’s AED pads. May did not have a heartbeat.
Chest compressions continued while the paramedics administered Narcan intravenously to May’s arm. They were able to restore his heartbeat.
May was later airlifted to a hospital, where he was declared brain dead on June 1.
Deputies found two syringes next to May. They also reported finding less than 0.3 grams of meth in Bell’s wallet and a gem bag with tan powdery residue in a cloth bag that Bell said belonged to her.
Tracing the heroin to its source
Bell told Detective Sgt. Jon Loken that she went to Rhoden’s room at the Rainbow Motel in New London and purchased heroin and meth from him, the complaint says.
Deputies executed a search warrant at Rhoden’s room.
They reported finding a tan powder in a gem bag similar to the one they believe belonged to Bell. The powder tested positive for fentanyl.
Rhoden said he bought a $40 bindle of heroin from Hardegen, which he then gave to Bell.
The suspects face 12 1/2 years in prison if convicted of reckless endangerment.
If they are charged and convicted of reckless homicide, they face up to 40 years in prison.
On Oct. 20, 2020, Waupaca County charged Hardegen with delivery of heroin and two counts of felony child neglect as party to a crime. She was released from custody 10 days later after posting a $1,500 cash bond.
On Nov. 20, 2020, Outagamie County charged Rhoden with possession of methamphetamine. He was released from custody on a $1,500 signature bond.