At a preliminary hearing Wednesday, Dec. 11, in Sawyer County Court, Judge John P. Anderson bound over for trial Jonathan Ray Kakazu on a charge of first-degree reckless homicide.
Kakazu, 28, of Reserve, is charged with delivering narcotic drugs—Fentanyl and heroin—to a 21-year-old Hayward area resident, Cassidy Joy Metropolus, during the night of Aug. 26-27, 2019.
A man saw Metropolus consuming the drugs at his residence, where she was staying overnight. Later that night, he found her deceased and called 911.
At Wednesday’s hearing, District Attorney Bruce Poquette called Sawyer County Sheriff’s Detective Jay Poplin to the witness stand, and asked him questions about the investigation into Metropolus’ death.
Friends of Metropulos told the detective that they had been with her the previous night and she seemed completely normal.
Detectives obtained a search warrant for Metropulos’ and Kakazu’s Facebook accounts and observed the messages on them.
A detective said he reviewed more than 40 messages on Kakazu’s account “discussing the sale of heroin in almost every conversation.”
The detective reviewed information recovered from Kakazu’s phone by the state Department of Criminal Investigation forensics lab, which indicated that Kakazu phoned Metropulos at 7:05 a.m. Aug. 27 and had added numerals and symbols in an effort to prevent anyone else from tracking the conversation.
Metropulos’ body was taken to the Midwest Medical Examiner’s office in Anoka County, Minnesota, where an autopsy was performed. A blood sample was sent to a lab in Pennsylvania, which indicated that Metropulos’ blood contained tramadol and fentanyl.
The medical examiner’s report identified the presence of fentanyl and a fentanyl metabolite in Metropulos’ blood. The medical examiner, Dr. Anne Bracey, stated, “Fentanyl is a potent opioid that can cause respiratory depression, coma and death.”
The blood screen also showed a prescription pain medication, tramadol, to be present. Dr. Bracey concluded “the cause of death to be attributed to fentanyl toxicity.”
Kakazu is represented by Public Defenders Ryan Reid and Joseph Schieffer. He will be arraigned in court Friday, Dec. 20. Judge Anderson continued Kakazu’s $65,000 cash bond and Kakazu remains in custody.
If convicted of the first-degree reckless homicide charge, Kakazu would face a maximum possible sentence of 40 years in prison plus a $100,000 fine.
Twenty-two spectators attended Wednesday’s hearing. They were required to go through a metal detector device in order to enter the courtroom. Five sheriff’s deputies provided security.