A Duluth man pleaded guilty to his role in the opioid overdose death of 40-year-old Jacob Jared Borman of Duluth.
Jamie Philanders McNeary, 51, appeared in Sixth District Court in Duluth on Friday and agreed to give up his right to a trial for a lesser sentencing.
McNeary and Jacob Jordan Johnson, 27, of Proctor, were both charged with third-degree aiding and abetting murder for their connection to the December 2018 overdose.
In January, a jury found Johnson guilty of aiding and abetting third-degree murder.
During the plea hearing, McNeary told prosecuting attorney Victoria Wanta he and Johnson were mutual friends through parties and selling drugs, but that he didn't know Borman prior to Dec. 14.
McNeary said on that day Johnson asked him to meet at a gas station in the East Hillside neighborhood to score some drugs and sell his vehicle. He said he wasn't expecting Borman to be there.
At the gas station, McNeary said he got into the vehicle with the other two men and sold about $20 worth of heroin — about 0.1 grams — to Johnson, who then provided it to Borman.
In response to Sixth Judicial District Judge Eric Hylden, McNeary said he understood the actions he took led to the death of Borman.
"We're not saying you intended any harm, but there was a probability with the actions you took that could have caused his death," Wanta said.
According to the criminal complaint, Borman returned home around 7:30 p.m. that day and went into the bathroom to take a shower. Three hours later, the victim’s son texted the victim’s girlfriend, saying his father had been in the bathroom a long time and that he couldn’t get him to wake up. The girlfriend returned home from work and found the victim unresponsive in the bathroom with a syringe nearby.
An autopsy ruled the victim’s death an accident, and toxicology results indicated the presence of fentanyl and breakdown products of heroin, the complaint states.
McNeary's pre-sentencing hearing was scheduled for April 13.