Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Staff Report
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Hermantown woman charged with third degree murder


December 13, 2018

Dawn Clemons, 39, Hermantown, was charged with one count of murder in the third degree after an incident on Aug. 5, 2018. The felony charge carries a maximum sentence of twenty-fives years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine.

The complaint stated that, on August 5, first responders and officers from the Moose Lake Police Department were dispatched to a residence in Moose Lake. The officers arrived at approximately 6:35 p.m.

At the residence, the officers discovered a 38-year old female deceased on the floor. The officers spoke with a roommate of the deceased and said that he had last seen her alive at 4 p.m. at the residence. He also stated that the victim was alone and he believed that she may have been using methamphetamine. He had been to a relative’s home across the street and returned to find her motionless on the floor. He called 911 and performed chest compressions until the first responders arrived. He told the officers that a woman that he did not know had stayed over with the victim the prior night.

A medical examiner arrived on the scene and informed the officers that the victim was showing possible signs of an overdose. The officers contacted the victim’s mother, and she told the officers that her daughter had reached out to her earlier in the afternoon stating that she wanted to go to a hospital. She went to the residence but her daughter would not answer the door. She had suspected that her daughter may have been using drugs.

The officers made contact with the victim’s probation officer who told the officers that the victim had provided a clean urinalysis as recently as August 4.

In further investigation, the officers retrieved the victim’s phone and found text messages referencing a drug deal between the victim and a person named Dawn in the early morning hours of August 5. The officers subsequently learned that the phone number belonged to Dawn Clemons. Clemons and the victim communicated in a fashion that the state alleges included arranging for Clemons to purchase controlled substances and deliver them to the victim.

In a search of the residence, the officers found drug paraphernalia that tested positive for methamphetamine.

On August 9, the officers met with Clemons and her probation officer. She was informed that she was not under arrest and read a Miranda warning. She waived the Miranda and spoke with the officers.

Clemons told the officers that the victim had contacted her and asked her to bring her some methamphetamine and some syringes. Clemons said she eventually procured approximately one gram of methamphetamine for $60. She brought the drug and syringes to the victim and the victim and Clemons used the methamphetamine together intravenously. The victim gave Clemons $28 in cash and some clothes. Clemons stated the victim immediately asked what had she given her. The victim became paranoid. Clemons remained with the victim until later in the morning, leaving shortly after the victim’s roommate came to the residence.

On August 21, the officers received the medical examiner’s final summary from the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office. The cause of the victim’s death was determined to be methamphetamine toxicity.

The state alleges that Clemons proximately caused the death of the victim by selling methamphetamine to her, a Schedule 2 controlled substance.


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