Waukesha Man Pleads Guilty in Tosa Teenager's Heroin Death

Daniel Birtic, one of two suspects in the overdose death of Alex Hopping, pleads guilty to first-degree reckless homicide for his role in the crime.

A Waukesha who supplied heroin that later has pleaded guilty for his role in her death.

Daniel Lee Birtic, 24, pleaded guilty Monday to one count of first-degree reckless homicide for providing heroin to Alexandra Hopping, 19, who overdosed and died in her home April 18, 2011.

A second defendant, Edwin Esteves, 33, is slated to stand trial in the case June 4; however, he will make his final pre-trial appearance Tuesday where he could also potentially plead guilty.

The men were charged under the state’s Len Bias law after Wauwatosa police officers conducted inside a home in the 1800 block of North 70th Street.

The conditions of Birtic's plea arrangement were not released. According to the Hopping family, , Birtic's plea bargain involved a reduced sentence. The maximum sentence for first-degree reckless homicide under the Bias law is 40 years in prison.

Both men remain in Milwaukee County Jail. Birtic will be sentenced July 20.

timm dunn May 16, 2012 at 07:49 AM
Hope the bastardS ROT!!!!
michelle May 16, 2012 at 08:56 AM
I agree!
Michael May 16, 2012 at 01:06 PM
I'm not condoning what either of these guys did, what you have to remember is nobody put that powder in her nose or stuck that needle in her arm. It is a lose lose situation. Blaming these guysfor her death is like asking where were the parents. Sad situation.
Johnny Paycheck May 16, 2012 at 07:43 PM
These two idiots were playing with fire and will now have to pay the price. Anyone that thinks they can play black-market pharmacist and then just walk away when their customer dies is in for a rude awakening... Somebody just lost their daughter thanks in part to these two morons, and they will probably only get 6 or 8 years for it which is already far lighter than what we give to drunk drivers who kill their passengers, and other such offenders.
the 'sha guy May 16, 2012 at 08:38 PM
I agree with Michael. Nobody forced her to do the heroin. Again, it is about personal responsibility and people in our society continually blaming others for their own problems. Do these two deserve prison time? Absolutely. Are they to be blamed more than the girl who did the drugs and killed herself? I don't believe so. BTW Johnny, don't we give drunk drivers music teaching positions in our elementary schools?
Jim Price May 17, 2012 at 12:13 AM
The family of the late Alex Hopping – and Alex herself, before her death – were very open and straightforward about her culpability as an addict. There is no question that she knew what she was doing and what she was risking and still put the needle in her own arm. But the cold, hard read on this now – she died more than a year ago – is whether her suppliers are also responsible, and the state of Wisconsin has decided that they are. It having enacted its version of the "Len Bias" law, holding suppliers accountable, police, prosecutors and judges are bound to uphold it. If you read the full back story on this case (the links in this story are in the order the earlier stories were reported), you will, I hope, see that neither Alex nor her family were under any illusions that she was innocent or that they (her family) were not also guilty of, at the least, ignorance and naivety about heroin and its risks and ravages. Mr. Birtic, it can now be said, his having pleaded guilty, preyed upon his own friends, whether he saw it that way or not. He became a "mule," as it were, delivering heroin to a group of friends in Waukesha from a dealer (Mr. Esteves) in Milwaukee. He didn't do it for profit. He did it to support his own addiction. He got a free dose for every five doses he bought and sold to kids he had grown up with and gone to school with. Johnny, you are on the spot. Birtic is expected to do 7 years for scoring Alex some potent heroin and leaving her alone with it.
mkitty June 07, 2012 at 06:30 PM
I've been reading about all these overdoses and as having watched close up myself I really don't see how sending these kids to jail is making anything better. I think that instead of helping addicts we are destroying people. There are barely any rehab programs available anymore, everything has been shut down. Now the drug companies are in on the action and the whole problem is getting worse! Where are the parents? Where is the education? What choice do addicts have even if they wanted help? More drugs from addictionologists? What are we doing besides judging and condemning addicts? What incentive do addicts have for taking responsibility for trying to save a life? Damned if you do and damned if you just happen to be there and damned if you don't. Not everyone truly has the choices we think they do and we arent realy giving any better options or alternatives. As a mother myself I am petrified of sending my children to school and am wary of other parents. How many of us cant afford to stay home and really watch what our children are doing? What are we doing to teach our children about drugs besides telling them not to or sending them to jail? What about the children whose parents are on drugs, even prescriptions?
Anonymous June 15, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Is it right to punish someone else for a persons own gluttony? With the same school of thought as the "Len Bias Law" shouldn't we be able to hold the bar accountable for a drunk driving accident? Also with that how far down the line do you want to go? Go and find Mr. Esteves supplier and then eventually the poppy farmers in Afghanistan? Why not hold the U.S government responsible since our troops are over there why haven't the fields been destroyed? Im not condoning illegal activities but there is no personal responsibility left in this society, just push the blame elsewhere.
kajhfksajdh July 23, 2012 at 02:17 AM
I hope you rot
kajhfksajdh July 23, 2012 at 02:17 AM
you too.
kajhfksajdh July 23, 2012 at 02:19 AM
kajhfksajdh July 23, 2012 at 02:22 AM
kajhfksajdh July 23, 2012 at 02:23 AM
sheila st.pierre July 28, 2012 at 07:38 PM
I am getting in on this conversation late, however, how sad is it that a young lady is gone and the blame is still being pushed here and there. Rest In Peace Little,It has to be better where you are.
a concerned listener August 16, 2012 at 08:43 PM
DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE PART OF ALEX TRYING TO SELL IT TO HER FRIENDS, BUT NO ONE WANTED IT, SO SHE DID IT HER SELF. she was no different then the two men who are being charged with her death, her actions were selfish and gluttonous (as were the 2 other men involved in this case), and its wrong to charge someone with murder, rather than delivery of narcotics in this particular case. RIP ALEX
Anonymous August 17, 2012 at 06:36 AM
a concerned listener: "DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE PART OF ALEX TRYING TO SELL IT TO HER FRIENDS, BUT NO ONE WANTED IT, SO SHE DID IT HER SELF. she was no different then the two men who are being charged with her death," Well said. Thank you.
kathryn hopping August 18, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Thank you, Sheila. She is gone, and that is the bottom line. to mkitty, I agree with much of what you say. We incarcerate instead of rehabilitate. Prison populations are now filled with addicts, while treatment centers are being shut down. The legalistic "answer" is inadequate. However, that said, I will address the issue of "personal responsibility." Nobody in our family denies the responsibility each of us holds, for what happened. Alex paid the ultimate price for what she did. We are still wrestling with what we could have done, should have done, would have done if only....We will live with those questions for the rest of our lives. Beyond Alex's responsibility and ours, however, is the responsibility of those involved in the trade. Like Alex, they made a choice to sell, deliver, use. They got caught. But they didn't die. Esteves and Birtic are now reaping the consequences of their own actions. Esteves was conducting an illegal business. He had drugs, guns, and a grow house, all with young children running around. He is now in prison. Birtic was feeding his habit by doing business with Esteves. Now he is in prison. It did not help. I can only pray that somehow some good will come of this. What Esteves and Birtic could do, if they accept their own responsibility in this tragedy, is teach others, reach out to others and tell them "This is where my actions took me. Don't do what I did." It could be different. It could be better. We could be better.
Anonymous August 20, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I dont disagree with the fact that Birtic has to take some responsibility and serve some time. Where i get aggravated in this is why charge him with a homicide charge? ok we all agree delivering drugs is wrong so why not a delivery of narcotics charge? Everyone knows and agrees that no one ever forced Alex(bless her soul) to put the needle in her arm. Now for the rest of Dans life, when he moves into a new neighborhood, gets a new job and someone looks him up on CCAP they will see a homicide charge. It doesnt specify the bogus "Len Bias" law it simply says "1st degree reckless homicide" and makes it seem like he got blood on his hands which is nowhere close to the truth.


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