Drug dealer found guilty of murder in Minn. heroin overdose death

Beverly Nicole Burrell
Beverly Nicole Burrell.
Hennepin County Sheriff

Updated 10:15 a.m. | Posted 9:48 a.m.

A Hennepin County judge has found a drug dealer guilty of murder in the 2015 heroin overdose death of Max Tillitt.

During the trial, Tillitt's girlfriend testified that Tillitt bought heroin from Beverly Burrell on Sept. 25, 2015. She said Tillitt injected the heroin several hours later and immediately began to have a negative reaction before he collapsed.

The medical examiner concluded Tillitt died the next day of a combination of heroin and methamphetamine toxicity.

Max Tillitt
Max Tillitt died of an overdose of heroin he allegedly purchased from Beverly Burrell.
Courtesy of DeeDee Tillitt

In his written closing argument, defense attorney Craig Cascarano said there was no evidence to show the heroin was the sole cause of Tillitt's death.

The trial forced to the surface candid details of the struggles of people addicted to heroin and revealed the toll the drug takes on the families and friends of the people who are hooked on it.

Stephen Tillitt, Max's father, said he thought the verdict was the right one and may deter others from dealing heroin, but "the verdict doesn't put a smile on my face."

Tillitt also said Burrell's family is also suffering as Burrell is facing prison time. "Ms. Burrell's family is not going to have her around," he added. "It's a loss for that family too."

In May, Burrell was found guilty of third-degree murder for selling heroin to Luke Ronnei, who died of an overdose in 2016. She's also been charged in the overdose deaths of three other men.

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