Prineville man gets 2 years in prison for selling female pill containing fentanyl, resulting in fatal overdose

ByDonald L. Leech

Mar 7, 2022

(Update: DA corrects age of victim’s child; added reservation photo)

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Prineville man was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to criminally negligent homicide for selling a counterfeit Percocet containing fentanyl to a 22-year-old woman who fatally overdosed in January, leaving behind a 3-year-old son.

Matthew Ryan Huemann, 29, also pleaded guilty to a drug delivery charge and was sentenced Friday by Crook County Circuit Judge Daniel Ahern to 2 years in prison and three years of supervision post-prison, District Attorney Kari Hathorn said.

Nina Richardson, also of Prineville, died Jan. 24 after a counterfeit pill overdose, Hathorn said. Law enforcement determined Huemann sold her the pill, knowing it contained highly deadly fentanyl, the prosecutor said.

“Huemann took responsibility early for his role in Ms. Richardson’s death and was very remorseful,” Hathorn said in a Monday press release.

In his guilty plea petition, Huemann wrote, “I couldn’t be more sorry for what I did.”

“Drug overdoses, especially fentanyl overdoses, are a national epidemic,” Hathorn wrote. “Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that looks like morphine but is about 100 times more potent. Many counterfeit pills are designed to look like prescription drugs such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin ), alprazolam (Xanax) or amphetamines (Adderall).

“However, these fake prescription pills often contain a life-threatening dose of fentanyl. DEA lab testing has found that four out of 10 fentanyl pills contain a life-threatening dose. Between 2020 and 2021, overdose deaths involving opioids synthetics, primarily fentanyl, increased 55.6%,” the DA said.

“The District Attorney’s Office wishes to express its sincere condolences to Ms. Richardson’s family,” she added.

The case was investigated by the Prineville Police Department, Crook County Sheriff’s Office, Crook County Parole and Probation Department, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office , Oregon State Police and Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Squad. Oregon State was represented by Crook County Deputy Chief Assistant Attorney Sarah Lundstedt and Acting District Attorney Dan Wendel of the state Department of Justice.