Avon woman denies she caused man’s heroin death
EAGLE — An Avon woman denies she’s responsible for a man’s heroin-induced death.
In an interview with Avon police detective Jeremy Holmstrom played during a court hearing Monday, Kaile Wilson, 24, told Holmstrom she thought he wanted to talk about a different crime in which she was a victim.
Holmstrom, however, told her he wanted to talk about Matthew Williamson’s heroin death, and Wilson’s part in it.
Holmstrom interviewed Wilson at a Vail restaurant where she was working.
In the 15-minute video, she said Williamson moved to the valley from Chicago because he wanted to get away from his heroin problems there. During that interview, she said Williamson asked her if she knew where to buy heroin. She said she did not and that she had never used it.
After some conversation, Holmstrom said, “I’m going to ask you directly. What did you give Matt the night he died? I know you gave him something.”
“I don’t know. … He asked for about $20 worth,” Wilson said.
She said she was careful to try to see that he got just a little bit, so he wouldn’t go through it so quickly.
“You know how dangerous heroin can be, especially for a former addict,” Holmstrom said.
As she cried, Wilson said she didn’t mean for Williamson to get hurt.
“It doesn’t work that way with an addict,” Holmstrom said.
After a brief pause, Holmstrom said, “I have a warrant for your arrest because you are responsible for Matt’s death.”
“No, that’s not true!” Wilson said crying.
Holmstrom told her to stand, put her hands behind her back and interlock her fingers, “like you were praying.” He escorted her out of the restaurant and to his waiting police vehicle.
Denver defense attorney Harvey Steinberg is representing Wilson. He moved that Wilson’s statements be thrown out because, he said, her Miranda rights were violated when Holmstrom interviewed her.
In cross examination, Steinberg grilled Holmstrom, battling over every detail beginning with what he asserts was a Miranda violation when Wilson was arrested.
When questioned, Holmstrom told Steinberg he interviewed Wilson without reading her Miranda rights to her or taking her into custody because it makes people feel more at ease.
Steinberg argued that Holmstrom lied when he said she was free to leave because “he had an arrest warrant in his back pocket. If she had tried to leave, she would have been arrested.”
“What they do not have the right to do is to lie about it,” Steinberg said.
When Holmstrom asked if Wilson knew what he was there to talk about, she conjectured that it was about a December issue when she was the victim of a crime.
“That’s what she expected to talk about when she sat down,” Steinberg said.
District Court Judge Russell Granger said that the issue had been litigated many times and that Wilson was to be considered in custody when she was told there was a warrant for her arrest, Granger ruled. However, he gave Steinberg the green light to establish his line of questioning.
Prosecutor Joe Kirwan said Wilson had provided heroin to Williamson on other occasions.
What police say happened
On the night of Williamson’s death, Holmstrom testified that he received a call from Avon police officers, saying they’d found a dead body in a bathtub, half on his knees and half hanging out toward a toilet.
Around 10 p.m. on the night he died, Williamson went out to the parking lot telling his roommates he was going out for the night. He said he was going to meet a girl from Breckenridge. He came back to the apartment a few minutes later and said his plans had changed and went to bed.
The next time anyone saw him, he was dead. His roommates found him the next morning in the bathroom and called police about 6 a.m. Feb. 13 to report that Williamson was not breathing.
“It looked like he’d gotten drunk and died of positional asphyxiation, but there was no alcohol,” Holmstrom said.
When police arrived, they determined that Williamson was already dead and had been for some time.
Police searched the apartment and found “a variety” of drug paraphernalia, including a bent spoon that contained heroin residue and a belt that appeared to have been used as a tourniquet.
Police said the autopsy and toxicology tests found that Williamson had died from multiple drug intoxication. Heroin was among those drugs, Avon police said.
Text messages from Williamson’s phone asked if a woman he called “Robin” could get drugs, police said. Holmstrom said he managed to track the phone number from those text messages back to Wilson. He said he put those text messages together to determine that they had negotiated a heroin transaction.
The Avon police investigation included Williamson’s cell phone and Facebook account and led them to Wilson, police said.
She is accused of selling the drugs to Williamson that caused his overdose and death.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and firstname.lastname@example.org.