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Duluth man sentenced in fatal overdose; warrant issued for co-defendant

While Kyham Dunn was ordered to serve approximately 3 1/2 years for his manslaughter conviction, Solomon Byrd Jr. failed to appear failed to appear for his hearing.

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DULUTH — A man has been sentenced to 41 months in prison for his role in supplying the fentanyl that killed a 25-year-old woman in a downtown hotel room in September 2019.

Kyham Lavon Dunn, 27, received the sentence Monday from Judge Eric Hylden in State District Court. Dunn pleaded guilty Nov. 29 to a felony count of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the overdose death of Alexandria Meshell Price.

A co-defendant, Solomon Byrd Jr., 29, entered a plea to the same charge Dec. 15. He was also set to be sentenced Monday but failed to appear for the hearing, resulting in Hylden issuing a warrant for his arrest.

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Kyham Lavon Dunn

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Both men were initially charged in January 2020 with aiding and abetting third-degree murder before the charges were amended under the terms of their plea agreements.

The victim was found unresponsive in a bathroom at the Holiday Inn, 200 W. First St., in downtown Duluth in the early morning of Sept. 18, 2019. Authorities responded to a call for medical assistance and lifesaving efforts were unsuccessful, with Price pronounced dead at the scene.

PREVIOUSLY: Two Duluth men arrested for overdose death

A medical examiner later determined the cause of death to be fentanyl toxicity.

During a brief search of the hotel room, officers located crushed-up pills and a piece of burnt foil that later tested positive for the presence of fentanyl. The victim's mother and 3-year-old son were also in the hotel room, according to a criminal complaint. Law enforcement later learned the victim's partner had died of an overdose seven days earlier in Superior.

Investigators said they later learned the victim had made arrangements to purchase heroin from Dunn, who had an active warrant for his arrest and was arrested that same day. He admitted to facilitating the drug exchange between the victim and Byrd.

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Solomon Byrd

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Dunn then went with law enforcement to point out Byrd's residence, where police located drug paraphernalia and Byrd's cellphone, the complaint stated.

An electronic forensic analysis revealed that the victim picked up Dunn at his address Sept. 17 before Dunn placed a call with Byrd. Shortly after, Dunn and the victim arrived at Byrd's residence for a few minutes. The victim then dropped off Dunn at his residence before returning to her hotel room.

Dunn, who has prior misdemeanor convictions including battery and disorderly conduct in both Minnesota and Wisconsin, was previously acquitted of a party to felony murder charge in the 2014 shooting death of Garth Velin in Superior.

In pleading guilty in the overdose fatality, Dunn also admitted to two unrelated felony domestic violence charges. Hylden imposed 15- and 18-month sentences concurrent to the manslaughter charge.

Byrd has been free since posting a $100,000 bond in September 2020. While his plea was entered a Zoom hearing, he was expected to appear in person for Monday's sentencing, which was anticipated to result in a prison term.

Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or tolsen@duluthnews.com.
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