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drd™vÄ
12-17-2004, 12:12 AM
Suicide assist charge dropped against Oakland teen

Thursday, December 16, 2004

By Colleen Lehmann

The Douglas County state's attorney's office has elected not to pursue a felony charge of unlawful inducement to commit suicide, filed earlier this year against Austen C. Eriksen of Oakland.

Eriksen, 18, was originally charged by then-state's attorney Diane Sipich with the Class 4 felony in connection with the death of 17-year-old Eric Richardson of rural Hindsboro. The two teens were found together at Walnut Point State Park in the early morning hours of February 5, 2004.

Evidence evaluation and toxicology reports indicated both young men had taken potentially lethal doses of dextromethorphan (DXM), a psychoactive drug found in common, over-the-counter cough medicines.

Richardson was pronounced dead at the scene. Eriksen was transported to an area hospital, and eventually recovered from his overdose.

Kevin Nolan, newly-elected Douglas County state's attorney, presented and was granted the motion to dismiss the charge in court December 10.

When asked why the charge was dropped, Nolan replied, "I didn't think a jury would convict this defendant. The evidence as we know it - a young man who is obviously suicidal - makes a sympathetic witness. I don't believe a jury would be willing to convict."

Nolan said he met with Eric Richardson's parents December 8 to inform them of his decision.

"I wanted them to know what was happening in the case involving the death of their son. I had a private conversation with them, to let them know about this course of action," Nolan said. He declined to comment further on the nature of the conversation.

Testimony given at a coroner's inquest March 23, 2004 indicated Eriksen had supplied Richardson with the DXM. Douglas County officer Clint Howard testified at the inquest that a search of Eriksen's residence produced approximately 19 grams of pharmaceutical-grade DXM, scales, and packaging materials.

A suicide note written by Eriksen was recovered by Coles County authorities, and Howard said friends and classmates of Richardson told him Richardson had "spoken of self-harm and suicide."

The coroner's jury on March 23 deemed Eric Richardson's death a suicide. On May 17, 2004 an arrest warrant was issued for Eriksen, along with a $10,000 bond. A preliminary hearing was held July 1, and on July 29 the court found probable cause existed for the felony charge.

Court records show Eriksen was arraigned on August 30, where he pleaded not guilty and requested a trial by jury. An original trial date of October 18 was vacated, and the matter was reset for the January 18, 2005 trial docket.

On December 1, the defense filed a motion to dismiss the charge for lack of venue, citing that the events took place in Coles County, not Douglas. Nine days later, Nolan requested that the charge against Eriksen be dropped.

When asked about the fact that DXM is a legal substance, and that Eriksen allegedly obtained it over the internet, Nolan responded, "This is another one of those situations where people manage to find ways to abuse legal substances.

"Unfortunately, the drug culture - for lack of a better term - often manages to be a few steps ahead of law enforcement efforts. It's up to the legislature as to how to regulate it."

Nolan also made mention of efforts by Joe Victor (Douglas County coroner/ESDA coordinator) to that end.

"I know Joe Victor has been working tirelessly to help stimulate some kind of legislative control on retail availability of DXM," he said.
Link: http://www.moultriedouglas.com/news/newsvi...ew.asp?c=134957 (http://www.moultriedouglas.com/news/newsview.asp?c=134957)

K-ParAdoX
12-17-2004, 11:40 AM
Wow. It seems like they both tried to commit suicide, and they wanted to charge him for assisting his friend in suicide?

There are some cold people in this world.

kilo
12-17-2004, 01:29 PM
i guess it was because he was the supplier...still that's messed up.

you know..they should regulate bleech, i'm sure it would induce altered mind states and of course death if consumed in large quantities. :sly:

DivineMomentsofTruth
12-17-2004, 02:22 PM
So cool DXM is legal :pr0zac:

vapor
12-17-2004, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by [email protected] 17 2004, 11:40 AM
Wow. It seems like they both tried to commit suicide, and they wanted to charge him for assisting his friend in suicide?

There are some cold people in this world.
Yes actually, i rememebr this case, around one year ago this happened. He actually went to the DV, and his brother came on to tell us how everything was going.

He got the powder, and packed the caps for them, they both decided to commit suicide by taking around 5 caps of dxm powder each, we are estimating close to 5-6 grams dxm, but we never really found out.

They parked their truck at the park, and locked the doors and downed the caps. One died, the other vomitted a good portion of his dxm, probubly this is what saved his life.

Im glad he wasnt convicted.

Midknight
12-21-2004, 03:37 AM
I would think DXM suicide wouldn't be all that fun.

I think heroin O.D. might be better. Though I hear it's not all that great either. (some people say you have seizures and stuff)

Alabaster
12-21-2004, 07:07 PM
Best suicide would be chlorine gas, imho.. You're dead nearly instantly.

vapor
12-22-2004, 02:00 PM
Originally posted by [email protected] 21 2004, 03:37 AM
I would think DXM suicide wouldn't be all that fun.

I think heroin O.D. might be better. Though I hear it's not all that great either. (some people say you have seizures and stuff)
IMO, lethal injection is the best.

If your alone, take a overdose of oral cyanide and then IV a large dose of thorazine.

Yeah dont do that, dont want my ass on trial for assisted suicide.

dawhiterabbit
12-22-2004, 05:15 PM
Yes actually, i rememebr this case, around one year ago this happened. He actually went to the DV, and his brother came on to tell us how everything was going.

i remember that too...

dexaholic
01-15-2005, 04:12 AM
austen's brother here:


yeah the family's glad to have the case dismissed, just one less thing to worry about.

my brother is currently living at home and is probably going to join the military to keep himself busy.

yes, it was around 5-6g each of them took btw.

my brother is grateful for the support he's been given across the DV and other communities.

stay safe

marc