Case ends in plea deal
The former Blue Earth man originally charged with two counts of first and second degree manslaughter in the death of a local man, Juan Vasquez, had his plea hearing this past Monday in Faribault County District Court.
Hayden Spencer, 34, pled guilty to the fifth degree charge of the selling of a schedule four controlled substance. The charge is a felony and Spencer will have to serve 120 days in jail with a staggered basis of 30 days during the month of January in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
However, the charges of manslaughter in the first degree, selling, giving and distributing a substance, as well as manslaughter in the second degree, have been dismissed based on his plea agreement.
According to a documented police report, on Jan. 22, 2013, a Faribault County deputy was dispatched to a residence on 110th Street in Blue Earth. The officer was met at the door by Spencer, who was the owner of the residence.
Spencer led the officer upstairs where they found Juan Vasquez on a bed.
According to the officer, Vasquez was determined to be deceased because his body was not in a normal sleeping position.
As part of the investigation, the deputy contacted the medical examiner and asked him to come out to the scene.
The deputy had to tell Spencer to wait downstairs several times during the investigation because Spencer kept trying to come upstairs. The chief of police and the deputy found this behavior odd as the other male party in the house, Kyle Osmundson, was not making any effort to come up the stairs, according to the court document.
Spencer and Osmundson said the three of them had gone to Mankato the previous night. In Mankato, they ate at a restaurant and had some alcohol to drink at a bowling alley.
The officer noticed that every time Osmundson would start to answer a question, he would be cut off by Spencer.
After their conversation, the deputy left the residence to notify Vasquez’s family.
Vasquez’s brother told the officer that he had a conversation with Vasquez the previous day, according to court records. He told the deputy that Vasquez said he was excited because his friend was bringing him Xanax.
The next day the officer interviewed Osmundson again. He told the officer that all three of them (Osmundson, Spencer and Vasquez) had used Xanax that evening and drank alcohol as well. Osmundson said the Xanax was provided by Spencer.
Next, the officer spoke with Spencer again. He admitted that Vasquez had taken Xanax. Spencer claimed that he let Vasquez look at the bottle of Xanax on their way to Mankato and that Vasquez took the pills on his own without Spencer’s permission.
However, after noticing some contradiction in the two stories the officer got Spencer to admit that he gave Xanax to both Osmundson and Vasquez.
He told the officer that he burned the Xanax bottle in the wood stove in his shed to avoid getting into trouble, according to the court records.
Spencer claimed he had never provided pills to anyone else.
However, the deputy found out that Spencer has a long history of providing prescription medications to other individuals.
An autopsy was performed by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s office and it revealed that the cause of death was probable mixed drug toxicity.
In court April 11, a victim impact statement from Maria Vasquez, mother of Juan Vasquez, was read in court.
It said: “Three years ago on January 22, 2013, my life and the lives of my children changed forever. It was on this day that my son, Juan Francisco Vasquez, took his last breath. Since then, my heart has been empty.
There is a part of me that is missing. I know my son. I know the kind of man he was. He was sweet, loving, funny, energetic and talented. Juan brought love and laughter to our family and friends.
I don’t know all the facts and perhaps never will, but I do hold Mr. Spencer responsible. Mr Spencer’s actions have taken away a son, father, brother, and friend. He is no longer in our lives.
My children and I don’t have the words to express how it feels. How it feels for a mother to bury their child. How it feels for a son to lose their father or a brother or sister to lose a brother. I can only express it as an emptiness in my heart where memories overflow in my mind and an urge to cry out every tear in my body.
I dream of him every night calling for me and telling me, ‘Mom, I am here, I am not dead, stop crying.’ I feel his presence and every now and then, I hear his voice.
I hurt for my son, but I also hurt for my grandson. It has been over a year since we have seen him. His mother no longer lets us see him because she thinks it will confuse him more now since they have started a new life. My grandson was a big part of me, a mini-Frankie. Frankie is what we called Juan.
I hope someday my grandson will come and look for us and ask about his father.
Mr. Spencer may feel like he has losses but the real loss is that of the life of my son being taken away. His actions have consequences. I hope that God continues to give me strength of life and health to move on for the children I do have left.
I wish Mr. Spencer peace in his mind and conscious. We believe the laws of the land can be bought, but will leave the true and final justice in the hands of God. May God forgive you and may He always remain with us.”
The victim impact statement was signed simply, “Maria Vasquez.”
During the plea hearing, Spencer also requested that the condition of release regarding no weapons be dropped with the completion of his stay of imposition. Judge Douglas Richards granted the request if Spencer meets all of the appropriate conditions.
Besides his 120-day sentence to the Faribault County Jail, Spencer will also be given 0-5 years supervised probation.
Other conditions require Spencer to abstain from alcohol and other controlled substances not prescribed by a doctor, submit to random testing and cooperate with random searches of his person and household. He must have no misdemeanor or greater violations against him as well as provide a DNA sample to the court system.