Two sentenced in Woodbury teen's fatal overdose

Two of five defendants in a criminal case surrounding a Woodbury girl's overdose death were sentenced in Washington County District Court Friday.

Alexander Lee Claussen, 20, of St. Cloud, Minn., and Cole Alexander Matenaer, 19, of Woodbury both pleaded guilty to third-degree murder for their role in supplying the drugs that killed 17-year-old Tara Fitzgerald a year ago.

Claussen was sentenced to a little more than six years in prison, with credit for 100 days already served. Matenaer was sentenced to one year in jail, with credit for four days served, plus 15 years' probation.

Three other teens were also charged in the case: Sydney Claire Johnson, Alistair Curtis Berg and Brian Phillip Norlander. Now 18, they were 17-year-old Woodbury High School students when they were charged. Prosecutors are seeking to have them certified to adult court. They have hearings in February and March.

According to the charges, Tara Fitzgerald, 17, was found unresponsive on Jan. 11, 2014, and died a short time later. Her friends told police she had ingested what she believed was LSD. The substance turned out to be a synthetic drug called 25i-NBOMe.

Police determined that the drug originated with Claussen in St. Cloud and went to Matenaer, who sold the drug to Johnson, who sold it to Berg, who sold it to Norlander, who then sold it to Fitzgerald, the criminal complaint said.

Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said at the time charges were filed that Claussen was "as far as we could trace it.