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Watertown woman guilty of homicide in teen's fatal overdose
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Watertown woman guilty of homicide in teen's fatal overdose

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JUNEAU — A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for a 51-year-old Watertown woman who was convicted first-degree reckless homicide charges following the drug overdose death of a 16-year-old boy.

Debra L. Patroelj, entered a no contest plea, was found guilty of the charge Wednesday. She faces 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

John E. Teuteberg died Jan. 25, 2016, from a drug overdose in a friend’s bedroom at a Watertown residence, according to the criminal complaint. An autopsy revealed that he died from using methadone.

According to a criminal complaint, a relative of Teuteberg said she had heard from one of his friends that Teuteberg had purchased pills and marijuana from a woman and Teuteberg had taken six pills. Another witness was interviewed and said Patroelj had shown up the night before Teuteberg died at his friend’s house.

Watertown police spoke to Patroelj, who allegedly admitted that she bought $5 of marijuana from Teuteberg the night of his death. She denied having methadone. She also said that her cellphone was stolen or lost after Teuteberg’s death.

A search warrant was obtained for Patroelj’s cellphone number, cellphone pings and Teuteberg’s cell number as well.

On Teuteberg’s phone, police were able to see that Teuteberg researched methadone the night before he died.

According to the criminal complaint, police were able to see messages the two sent to each other on Facebook and saw on his phone that he had added her as a contact the night he died.

Patroelj will be sentenced Sept. 18.

Follow Terri Pederson on Twitter @tlp53916 or contact her at 920-356-6760.

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