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Lawyer: Heroin dealer to plead guilty to final murder charges

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Beverly Burrell, looks back at her family.
Beverly Burrell looks back at her family seated in the back of a Hennepin County District Court room, after being sentenced to 14 years for the overdose deaths of two men in Minneapolis in September 2017.
Jerry Holt | Star Tribune via AP 2017

The attorney for the Maplewood woman imprisoned for murder in the drug overdose deaths of three men says she will plead guilty Friday to the remaining two murder charges she faces.

The guilty pleas come three years after Beverly Burrell was charged in the deaths of five men who died after taking heroin or fentanyl she sold them. Three cases have been resolved.

Burrell is ready now to plead guilty in the final two cases which involve the deaths of Spencer Johnson and Nicholas Petrick, said her attorney Craig Cascarano.

The two men died within weeks of each other in 2016. Prosecutors say Petrick and Johnson bought opioids from Burrell.

The resolution of the remaining two charges is apparently a welcome event for members of the Johnson and Petrick families. Colleen Ronnei, whose son Luke was one of Burrell's victims, has said she's been in contact with the two families.

While they are not ready to speak to the media, the delay has been hard on them, she added.

Cascarano said details of the plea deal are still in the works but that the goal is to make sure that Burrell will not stay in prison longer than her release date in 2031. Burrell has also been assured that the United States Attorney's Office will not file federal drug charges against her, he added.

Burrell just wants to serve her time and be done with it, Cascarano said. "This has been a long time coming for her. It's been wearing on her."

She will also be sentenced on Friday.