Man found guilty in EC drug overdose death, jail fight

Mar. 18—EAU CLAIRE — A former Eau Claire man will be sentenced June 13 for his roles in providing the fentanyl that led to the December 2020 drug overdose death of a man in Eau Claire, and a fight at the Eau Claire County Jail.

Trenton J. Wik, 35, pleaded guilty Friday in Eau Claire County Court to felony counts of first-degree reckless homicide by delivering drugs and substantial battery.

Judge Sarah Harless ordered a pre-sentence investigation by the state Department of Corrections.

Wik could be sentenced to up to 26 years in prison.

Wik's co-defendants in the overdose death and jail fight cases, Noah R. Beckstead and Adam M. Miller, respectively, were previously sentenced. Beckstead and Miller are both of Eau Claire.

According to the criminal complaint in the drug overdose death case:

Eau Claire police were sent to the 500 block of Cochrane Street Dec. 6, 2020, on a report of a deceased man found at that location. The man was found slumped over in the driver's seat of a car.

In searching the car, officers found an orange syringe cap on the floorboard of the driver's side compartment and a used syringe with a bent needle on the floorboard of the front passenger side.

An autopsy concluded the man had experienced acute fentanyl toxicity.

Two days later, officers learned from the man's friend that the man had been with Beckstead the day he died.

On Dec. 9, 2020, the man's stepmother provided police with a recorded phone call between Beckstead and a woman where Beckstead had admitted being with the man when he overdosed on drugs. Beckstead said he and the man had gone to Wik's former Eau Claire house. Beckstead said Wik was his drug source.

Beckstead said the man had been driving up the Birch Street hill and was swerving as he drove.

The man then pulled over, became unresponsive and fell asleep. Beckstead said the man was still breathing but would not wake up. Beckstead was crying and distressed during the call, repeatedly apologized and asked the woman if she was mad at him.

During a Dec. 15, 2020, interview, Beckstead told police he was with the man between 9 and 10 p.m. on Dec. 5, 2020. They drank alcohol, smoked marijuana and used LSD.

Beckstead said they then drove to Wik's house, where they smoked methamphetamine with Wik.

The man then bought what Wik described as heroin from Wik. They then injected themselves with the drug inside the car. A short time later, the man then had difficulty driving and eventually became unresponsive, Beckstead said.

Knowing that he had an active arrest warrant, Beckstead got scared that the police would show up. He said his phone died when he tried to call 911.

Beckstead said he walked to a nearby gas station and a passerby gave him a ride to Chippewa Falls. Beckstead said he had never seen anyone overdose on drugs before. He thought the man would eventually wake up and be fine.

During a February 2021 interview with police, Wik said Beckstead came to his house alone on Dec. 5, 2020, and traded fentanyl to Beckstead in exchange for LSD. Wik said he found out the man died a few days later. He said he did not know the man and had never met him.

Wik said the fentanyl he was receiving from his supplier was extremely potent. Wik said he refused to inject it and would only smoke it due to concerns about overdosing.

Wik said he understood that the fentanyl he supplied to the man led to his death and that Beckstead was very upset over the man's death.

Wik said he recommended that Beckstead should tell the police he didn't know who provided the man with the fentanyl that killed him.

According to the criminal complaint in the jail fight case:

Jailers discovered that Miller and Wik were engaged in a fight at 3:30 p.m. on June 1, 2021, in the program room of the special needs housing unit.

The incident was captured on the jail's camera.

Miller and Wik were sitting around a table playing cards with two other inmates when Wik pushed the table toward Miller and abruptly stood up.

Wik appeared to be animated and yelling at Miller as Wik moved toward him.

Wik walked toward Miller and punched him in the head.

Wik and Miller grappled with each other until Wik forced Miller into a wall.

Miller attempted to hold Wik's arms and legs as Wik repeatedly attempted to punch Miller in the head and body.

Miller broke free for a moment and threw several punches at Wik. But Wik grabbed hold of Miller again and continued to repeatedly punch him.

Wik shoved Miller, which caused the back of Miller's head to strike the wall.

Miller slid to the floor and appeared to be unconscious for several seconds.

Miller came to and then appeared to be yelling at Wik. Miller thrust his head forward and appeared to spit at Wik.

Miller then threw a chair toward Wik. Jailers then opened the door and removed Wik from the room.

Miller told authorities the next day that Wik got mad at him for losing the card game. Miller had bruising and swelling on his forehead, temples and upper lip. He also had a chipped tooth.

Miller was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, where he was treated for a severe concussion and an injured nerve in his back.

Wik told authorities on June 4 that Miller was calling him names and being disrespectful.

Wik admitted to punching Miller several times but did not remember pushing him into a wall.

Wik said he got blood spatter on his jail uniform when Miller spit toward him.