Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Jason Michael Slattum, age 41 of Hastings, has been charged* with one count of Murder in the Third Degree in connection with providing the heroin that caused the drug overdose death of Michelle Cahill, age 50 from Hastings, on July 11, 2020.
The following is a summary of the facts contained in the criminal complaint filed today in this case:
On July 11, 2020, around 5:15 a.m., officers with the Hastings Police Department responded to a medical emergency at an apartment complex. Upon arrival, officers met with MJC who stated that his wife Michelle Marie Cahill (hereinafter referred to as Victim) was in their bedroom. Officers located Victim on the floor next to the bed. She was unconscious, not breathing, and did not have a pulse. Attempts to revive Victim were unsuccessful and she was pronounced deceased shortly thereafter. An autopsy was conducted of Victim and the medical examiner determined the cause of death to be “mixed drug toxicity (heroin, fentanyl, and acetyl fentanyl)."
While inside the bedroom, an officer saw a brown, powdery substance on a plate and a straw located nearby. The substance later field tested positive for the presence of fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance. MJC told officers that the substance was heroin. He stated that he and his wife had purchased heroin from a person known as “Jay" (later determined to be Jason Michael Slattum) in Eagan the night of July 10. MJC said they ingested some of the heroin around 11:30 p.m. that evening and that his wife ingested some more around 2:30 a.m. the next morning before they went to bed. MJC indicated when he woke up his wife was unconscious and he called 911.
Evidence obtained from the Victim's cell phone confirmed text messages to Slattum setting up the heroin purchase on July 10. It was from tracing the phone number to whom these text messages were sent that Slattum's identity was determined. Following the execution of a search warrant on Slattum's phone, Hastings' investigators tracked the phone to Rosemount on September 1, and Slattum was arrested. When questioned, Slattum told investigators that he had sold methamphetamine and heroin to MJC on prior occassions and that he sold MJC and Victim a half gram of heroin for $50 the last time they met.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint at
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. While in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at
Backstrom commented: “On behalf of law enforcement, we express our sympathy to the family and friends of Michelle Cahill for their loss. Overdose deaths from heroin, particularly when laced with fentanyl, are far too common and this problem has been escalating in recent months.Backstrom praised the Hastings Police Department and the Dakota County Drug Task Force for their investigation into this tragic death.
Backstrom praised the Hastings Police Department and the Dakota County Drug Task Force for their investigation into this tragic
Slattum made his first court appearance on these charges today. Bail in the amount of $500,000 without conditions, and $300,000 with conditions, was set by Judge Shawn Moynihan. His next court appearance is scheduled for September 10, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. in Hastings. If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4438.
*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.