West St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Minnesota teenager has been certified as an adult to face prosecution in connection with the drug overdose death of a 15-year-old girl.

18-year-old Parker Benson was charged Friday in adult court with one count of third-degree murder. Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena notes the Bloomington teenager was only three months away from his 18th birthday when he allegedly sold pills containing fentanyl to the teenage overdose victim.

Dakota County Sheriff's Office photo
Dakota County Sheriff's Office photo
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According to the criminal complaint, a West St. Paul woman discovered her 15-year-old daughter dead inside the girl's bedroom in the early hours of August 20th last year. An autopsy conducted by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office later determined the girl died of fentanyl toxicity.

The overdose victim's mother provided investigators with her daughter's cell phone, which included a SnapChat conversation between the 15-year-old girl and Benson during which the pair arranged for Benson to allegedly sell four pills for $60. The court document also describes how investigators obtained GPS location data from the phone and it shows the girl drove to an area in West Saint Paul the night before her death. GPS location data from Benson's phone also put him in the same location at the same time.

Parker Benson criminal complaint - Dakota County Court
Parker Benson criminal complaint - Dakota County Court
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The criminal complaint also details a traffic stop conducted by Bloomington police in late May of last year. After the officers pulled over Benson, a search of his vehicle led to the seizure of oxycodone pills that testing confirmed contained fentanyl.

Benson was formally arraigned on the third-degree murder charge on Friday and his conditional bail was set at $200,000. He is due back in court on April 13.

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