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Guilty plea halts Douglas County homicide trial

Duluth man faces up to 40 years in prison for fentanyl delivery that led to overdose death.

Douglas County Circuit Court, Superior, Wisconsin. (Jed Carlson /

The trial for a Duluth man accused of selling a fatal dose of fentanyl to a Superior woman was cut short Wednesday, Dec. 8, in Douglas County Circuit Court when the man entered a guilty plea.

Jeffery Paul Linder, 43, pleaded guilty to one count of party to first-degree reckless homicide/deliver drugs for supplying fentanyl to the victim, Brianna Holecek. A sentencing hearing was set for Feb. 9 to allow enough time for a presentence investigation to be completed.

Holecek died June 11, 2020, at age 36 from an overdose caused by the combined effect of fentanyl and ethanol, according to the criminal complaint. The homicide charge was filed against Linder in March after he was questioned by Det. Chris Moe with the Superior Police Department. He reportedly told Moe that a third party had bullied him into selling drugs to the victim.

Linder’s trial opened Tuesday, Dec. 7, with jury selection and testimony from witnesses, including Superior police officers, an assistant medical examiner with the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, a state crime lab analyst and Holecek’s mother, according to online court records. The jury was also shown recordings of Linder's interview with Moe.


Jeffery Paul Linder.jpeg
Jeffery Paul Linder

The court broke for the day at 4:41 p.m. When Circuit Court Judge George Glonek reconvened the trial Wednesday morning, Linder entered his plea and the jury was excused.

A class C felony, the charge carries a maximum sentence of 40 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.

Read more Crime and Courts coverage here .

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