One Defendent in Len Bias Case Appears Headed for Plea Deal
Waukesha man who supplied heroin that led to the death of a Wauwatosa teen has reached a deal with prosecutors, who are still working on a deal with a second suspect in the case.
One of two men charged in the heroin overdose death of a Wauwatosa teenager may avoid a trial as part of a plea deal with prosecutors.
Attorneys told Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge David Borowski on Friday that a plea deal has been reached with Daniel Lee Birtic, 23, of Waukesha, on charges of first-degree reckless homicide for supplying heroin to Alexandra Michelle Hopping, 19, who overdosed and died inside a Wauwatosa home.
The hearing is scheduled for May 14, but should the deal fall through, his trial will begin June 11.
No details of the tentative agreement were released, but it is likely Birtic would agree to plead guilty either to a reduced charge or for a pre-arranged sentencing deal.
There was also no mention of whether Birtic would cooperate in prosecution of the second man charged in the case.
That defendent, Edwin Esteves, 33, of Milwaukee, is still working on a resolution with prosecutors, and another hearing has been scheduled for May 15. If no resolution is reached, he will stand trial June 4.
According to police reports and interviews with investigators:
Alex, as she was known to family and friends, was found dead inside the home she and her mother shared in the 1800 block of North 70thStreet after she overdosed on heroin bought through Birtic and Esteves. The men were charged under the state’s “Len Bias Law” in October after a six-month investigation by Wauwatosa police.
Both men have pleaded not guilty and remain in Milwaukee County Jail on high cash bail. Both are also charged with possession of heroin with intent to sell, and Esteves faces weapons charges as well.
The case gained notice after Wauwatosa police offered to release to Patch nearly all records on their investigation and to provide interviews with the dectectives who conducted it in order to raise awareness of dangers of heroin in suburban Milwaukee.
Hopping's family also agreed to share the story of Alex's life and untimely death in the hope that other families might recognize the warning signs of the ravages of the drug.