Superior man faces homicide charge for overdose death

The June 1 incident allegedly involved pills containing fentanyl, according to the criminal complaint.

Douglas County Circuit Court, Superior, Wisconsin. Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
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SUPERIOR — A Superior man who allegedly supplied a fatal dose of fentanyl to a neighbor made his initial appearance in Douglas County Circuit Court Monday, July 11.

Nicholas Rashad Combs.jpeg
Nicholas Rashad Combs
Contributed / Douglas County Jail

Nicholas Rashad Combs, 33, faces one count of first-degree reckless homicide. A cash bond of $20,000 was set for Combs, who remained in custody at the Douglas County Jail Wednesday, July 13.

Superior police responded to a possible drug overdose at 4:44 a.m. June 1 at an apartment building in the city’s South End neighborhood, according to the criminal complaint. Medical personnel confirmed the victim was dead. A forensic pathologist identified the cause of death as acute fentanyl intoxication.

A witness provided the police with screenshots of conversations on the victim’s phone between the victim and “Nicholas.” They reportedly included a message from the victim to Nicholas asking if he still had “those blues” late May 31 and another early June 1 in which the victim told Nicholas he was walking to the store to “get yo money.” Nicholas responded with “I’m home.”

Detective Russ Milroy initiated a search warrant for Facebook messenger data for Combs and the victim. He reportedly found numerous messages between Combs and others, including the victim, in which the Superior man was arranging sales of “blues.” On May 30, a message from the victim lets Combs know he wants four pills tomorrow night, and Combs says he has them for him, the criminal complaint said.


After reviewing the victim’s Facebook messages, Milroy found no indication that the victim had sought drugs from any other sources, according to the criminal complaint.


Another tenant of the building told Detective Griff Coffman that Combs had recently sold her two blue pills which made her sick. She had taken one, but still had the second and turned it over to Coffman. An analysis of the pill by the Wisconsin Crime Lab indicated the presence of fentanyl, the criminal complaint said.

Video surveillance footage from a nearby Kwik Trip showed the victim withdrawing money from an ATM at 1 a.m. June 1, according to the complaint.

Combs denied supplying the victim and the other tenant with drugs. His next court appearance was set for Wednesday, July 20. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 40 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.

Combs has also been charged with delivering schedule I or II narcotics and misdemeanor bail jumping in a separate case that is connected to the same incident. His next appearance in that case is set for Monday, July 18.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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