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Dodge County woman sentenced in teen’s drug death

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Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 5:18 PM CDT
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WATERTOWN, Wis. (WBAY) - A Watertown woman was sentenced to six years in prison and 14 years of extended supervision for the death of a 16-year-old over four years ago.

The district attorney’s office says Debra Petroelji usually provided the victim with the pain reliever Percocet, until one day when she didn’t have any, so the teen traded $30 worth of marijuana for methadone. Detectives say the teen consumed all six pills at the same time and was found that evening. An autopsy found drugs in the teen’s system, including benzodiazepines -- a sedative -- cannabinoids and methadone.

Petroelji, now 52, was convicted of first-degree reckless homicide from delivering drugs.

Asisstant District Attorney James Sempf argued at Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, “This case is not about treatment, it’s about punishment. In addition, prison is necessary to protect the community from the defendant’s ways.”

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