Qualley pleads not guilty in overdose casePublished 10:52am Tuesday, September 24, 2013
One of two Fergus Falls residents charged after allegedly leaving a friend’s home after she’d overdosed last September pleaded not guilty Sept. 23 in Otter Tail County District Court.
Melissa Ann Qualley, 32, is charged with felony second-degree manslaughter, felony first-degree burglary, felony theft and gross misdemeanor interference with a dead body-concealing evidence.
Travis Charles Simon, 33, pleaded not guilty in the case Sept. 6. His attorney submitted a motion to dismiss the second-degree manslaughter charge, and not guilty pleas were entered for the remaining charges. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 14.
According to the criminal complaint, Qualley and Simon were doing drugs with a friend at her residence, in the 700 block of South Oak Street in Fergus Falls, on the evening of Sept. 17, 2012. Qualley reportedly saw her friend use at least 20 methadone pills before the friend passed out. The victim died of an overdose due to toxic levels of amitriptyline-hydrochloride, according to autopsy results. Qualley thought the victim was sleeping, and she and Simon left, the report says.
They allegedly returned to the residence at 3 a.m. and stole the victim’s narcotics including methadone, vicodin and oxycodone. Qualley later told police that they decided to wait until the next morning to report the death, when they wouldn’t be so high, according to the report.
Qualley and Simon reportedly returned to the victim’s residence later on Sept. 18 and Qualley called 911 at 12:51 p.m., saying she found her friend passed out, unresponsive and cold to the touch.
Qualley’s next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 16, 2014.