Man accepts plea deal in murder case

Published 6:10 pm Saturday, October 22, 2016

A 23-year-old Austin man charged with selling heroin to a 23-year-old man who died of an overdose last December took a plea agreement in Mower County District Court Friday.

As part of the deal, Ryan Allen Anderson pleaded guilty to felony second-degree manslaughter, which was pleaded down from a felony third-degree murder charge. In another case, he also took a plea agreement Friday and pleaded guilty to a second-degree drugs charge for sale of a narcotics in a school zone, also a felony. He is also charged in a third case with third-degree drug sale and possession of drug paraphernalia.



He was charged in March for the Dec. 18, 2015, incident on the 700 block of 11th Avenue Southwest, where police responded to a 23-year-old found unconscious in a bathroom.

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According to the court complaint, officers found Tyler Burkey of Austin lying unresponsive after family members had moved him in an attempt to revive him.

Emergency personnel could not revive Burkey, who was pronounced dead. A Mayo Clinic autopsy revealed the cause was a heroin overdose.

The family members told officers they found him unconscious in the bathroom with a hypodermic needle near his feet and signs he had used drugs. Officers also collected several more items from the bathroom and his bedroom consistent with drug use as well as Burkey’s cell phone.

Text messages on Dec. 17, 2015, revealed he was looking to buy heroin and negotiated a purchase with Anderson.

Anderson visited Burkey’s house that day and met with him later that night at a different Austin house, which has been associated with heroin activity. Officers later found Anderson’s pattern would be to receive money first and then return later with the drugs, requiring two meetings between seller and buyer.

Burkey had also texted another alleged drug dealer about no longer needing drugs and no other drug-related texts were on his phone after meeting with Anderson.

Family members told officers he left the residence at times consistent with text messages to Anderson. He then returned home for the rest of the night and watched TV before reportedly waking at some point early on Dec. 18 and using the drugs in the bathroom.

Anderson is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 15, 2016.