Thursday, June 01, 2006

Plea in Cedarburg Heroin Death

Forty years for this scumbag seems about right.

Ben Stibbe, who's been linked to at least three heroin overdose deaths in Ozaukee County, pleaded guilty today to supplying the heroin that killed Cedarburg teenager Angela Raettig last November.

In addition, Stibbe's attorney, William A. Mayer, said Stibbe is likely to be charged in at least two other overdose deaths, that of Matthew Kobiske, 21, of Grafton, last fall and of Lynn Smaxwill, 43, also of Grafton, who was found dead by her 12-year-old son in December 2002.

Mayer said Stibbe changed his plea Thursday because "the state could probably prove its case" regarding Raettig's death and that he's "ready to take responsibility."

According to the criminal complaint, Stibbe, Caitlin Schuette, 17, of Cedarburg, Raettig and Ryan Hinkle, 19, also of Cedarburg, went to Milwaukee on Nov. 29 to buy heroin from a dealer that Stibbe knew using money supplied by Schuette and Raettig.

Stibbe received some of the heroin as payment for being the middle-man in the purchase. Raettig and Schuette injected themselves with the heroin at a Cedarburg apartment, the complaint says. Raettig then went home and was found dead in bed the next morning by her mother.

Schuette and Stibbe were charged under the state's rarely used so-called Len Bias law, which allows for someone who provides drugs that are a "substantial factor" in a death to be prosecuted for homicide.

The law, which was enacted in 1989, is named after a University of Maryland basketball player who died of a drug overdose in 1986.

Schuette pleaded guilty to the charge on May 16. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 9. Stibbe's sentencing hearing is set for Aug. 11.

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