Probation Ordered in Overdose Death
A Brookfield woman will serve four years probation and avoid prison after she gave oxycodone pills to a Waukesha man who later overdosed and died.
By Joe Petrie Email the author October 4, 2012
A Brookfield woman who provided the oxycodone that lead to the death of Waukesha resident Matthew D. Dziatkiewicz will avoid prison.
Jessica J. Hintz, 26, pleaded guilty in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Thursday to felony first-degree reckless homicide by delivery of drugs.
Waukesha County Circuit Judge Kathryn Foster sentenced Hintz to four years probation. She could have faced up to 40 years in prison.
Prosecutors said that in November 2011, Hintz got a bag of oxycodone pills from a friend at a bar in Milwaukee and late on Nov. 4, she ingested two while Dziatkiewicz, 25, took five of the pills and consumed alcohol.
At 12:44 a.m. Nov. 5 rescue workers were called to Dziatkiewicz’s apartment in the 1300 block of Blackhawk Trail, finding him unresponsive on the living room floor. Hintz told a police officer she poured water on Dziatkiewicz to try to wake him up but it didn't work. Paramedics tried to revive him and took him to Waukesha Memorial Hospital where he later died.
An autopsy report from the Waukesha County Medical Examiner’s Office said Dziatkiewicz died from a combination of oxycodone and alcohol intoxication.
Victim's family urged leniency
Although Hintz faced major prison time for her role in Dziatkiewicz’s death, members of his family asked Foster to consider that Hintz never intended for him to die that night.
His mother Diane Dziatkiewicz penned a letter to Foster, saying Hintz should become a public speaker on the dangers of drugs, telling people about her son's death and the epidemic of pill abuse.
"When Jessica gave him the drugs that night I’m sure she did not intend for this to happen," Dziatkiewicz wrote. "But she did make a terrible choice."
Hintz’s mother Lydia Chenoweth also wrote to Foster, sharing her daughter’s past issues with her parent’s divorce, an alcoholic father who subjected Hintz to physical and mental abuse, and a divorce in March 2011 from her longtime fianc?e, which left her very hurt and vulnerable before Dziatkiewicz overdosed and died.
She said Hintz even visited Dziatkiewicz in the hospital before he died, went to his funeral and apologized to his mother and sister.
"Jessica told me that Matt was coping with his father’s death, his mother’s restraining order against him and his painful withdrawal from heroin addiction and overdoses," Chenoweth wrote. "She felt sorry for Matt and compelled to help him because of her empathetic nature."
Relative blames both for the death
Dziatkiewicz’s brother David Dziatkiewicz Jr. wrote that he was just as mad at his brother for taking the pills as he was at Hintz for giving them to him, especially because he said Hintz knew Dziatkiewicz was in "somewhat recovery" for opiate addiction.
"I am not asking for leniency, for we all need to accept responsibility for our own actions," David Dziatkiewicz Jr. wrote. "However, I do want to make clear that I believe my brother took the five pills without force and of his own accord, thus he took his own life and Ms. Hintz did not kill him."
As part of her sentence, Hintz must pay $8,313 in restitution, continue psychological counseling and perform community service that will be determined by the court. Judge Foster set the case for a review hearing Jan. 17.