Adam Budge, 18, charged with murder following friend's synthetic drug overdose

Adam Budge gave his buddy, 17-year-old Elijah Stai of Park Rapids, a fatal dose of a synthetic hallucinogen. Budge, 18, could spend 25 years in prison as a result.

Just before 10 p.m. on June 12, Budge and Stai were hanging out at Budge's East Grand Forks home when they mixed a white power -- 2C-I -- with melted chocolate and ate the drug-laced candy. They then went to a McDonald's. An hour later, Stai began "freaking out" and acting as if he were "possessed," foaming at the mouth, hyperventilating, and smashing his head against the ground. Budge and other buddy laid Stai down in a bed and placed a wet towel on his head to cool him down. By 1:30 in the morning, Stai was no longer breathing.

Yesterday, Budge was charged with third-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, selling a controlled substance to a juvenile, and selling a controlled substance. The murder charge alone carries a maximum penalty of 25 years.

Budge told police he had meant to buy marijuana when he went to his dealer a couple weeks ago, but ended up paying $100 for a baggie of a white powder he believed contained an extract of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Stai, 17, died after ingesting a synthetic hallucinogen.
Stai, 17, died after ingesting a synthetic hallucinogen.

Police in the Red River Valley have been warning area residents about a bad batch of 2C-I linked to the deaths of Stai and Christian Bjerk, 18, who was found dead on a Grand Forks sidewalk on June 11 from an overdose similar to Stai's.

Lieutenant Rod Hajicek of the East Grand Forks PD said the tainted batch "seems to be isolated to the Grand Forks-East Grand Forks area right now, but anytime we have two individuals dead within a couple days of each other, that certainly gets our attention."

Previous synthetic drug-related coverage:
-- House approves synthetic drug crackdown amid concern about prison overcrowding
-- For second straight year, synthetic drug crackdown advancing through legislature
-- Synthetic drug ban will go into effect Friday, judge orders
-- Head shops sue Minnesota over synthetic pot ban
-- K2 and the synthetic marijuana boom

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