Murder charges lead to 7 years in prison for Rice County woman

Melissa Guillette was charged with murder in Rice County after she smuggled methamphetamine to her boyfriend in custody. Jason Nyberg was at the Faribault prison when he asked Guillette to get him meth. Nyberg ended up overdosing after taking the pills. Guileltte was just sentenced to seven years in prison after she plead guilty to 3rd degree unintentional murder. At sentencing, the judge agreed that Guillette didn’t have the intent to kill him but stated that there is no intent needed to be guilty of 3rd degree murder. Guillette had been sober for years until relapsing. Her contraband charge was dropped in exchanged for the plea to 3rd degree murder. Video footage showed that she smuggled the pills in her back pocked and handed it to Nyberg during a visit. He was found dead in his cell. Even though she did not intend to cause his death, she indirectly gave a controlled substance to Nyberg which resulted in his death and therefore meets the elements of 3rd degree murder.

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What is 3rd degree murder?

Minnesota statute 609.195 states that:

“(a)whoever, without intent to effect the death of any person, causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life, is guilty of murder in the third degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 25 years.

(b) Whoever, without intent to cause death, proximately causes the death of a human being by, directly or indirectly, unlawfully selling, giving away, bartering, delivering, exchanging, distributing, or administering a controlled substance classified in Schedule I or II, is guilty of murder in the third degree and may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than 25 years or to payment of a fine of not more than $40,000, or both.”

Murder is one of the most serious felonies that you can be charged with and you will need one of the best criminal attorneys in Minnesota to fight for you. Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys offers a free consultation. Do not wait until you have court to hire one of the best criminal attorneys. Max Keller is an aggressive criminal attorney and has handled murder cases in the past. You will need an aggressive attorney to make a downward departure argument in hopes to get the sentence lower than the sentencing guidelines. Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys offers payment plans in most cases. Take a look at the firm’s website at www.kellerlawoffices.com. Phones and e-mails are answered 24/7. Call 952-913-1421 to talk with an attorney.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Knowing how to choose a criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis, MN, can help you hire a lawyer who will prepare an effective defense strategy and fight for the best result from your case. One of the crucial tips when selecting a criminal defense lawyer is to vet those with relevant experience in cases like yours. You can only do this when you thoroughly understand the charges you are facing.
People anticipating an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, might ask, “What is the role of a defense attorney during an arrest?” A skilled criminal defense attorney can explain your options, ensure the police follow the rules, and protect your rights. The attorney will build a solid defense, talk to the prosecutor, and fight for your best interests.
Knowing when to hire a criminal lawyer for your case in Minnesota can help protect your constitutional rights and turn the odds in your favor. You should retain a criminal lawyer immediately after learning you are under investigation, get arrested, or are charged with a crime. Seasoned criminal lawyers understand the criminal justice system, can build a winning defense strategy, and aggressively push for a positive outcome of your case.