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"Dirty Sprite" death: Pauviera Linson, 14, found dead after drinking codeine cocktail

Jacob Sawyer, left, and Robert Kibble were arrested for allegedly giving a 14-year-old girl a fatal dose of "purple drank."
Jacob Sawyer, left, and Robert Kibble were arrested for allegedly giving a 14-year-old girl a fatal dose of "purple drank."

SEE ALSO: New U of M anti-binge drinking poster: "Drink, drank, drunk, dead."

In what may be the area's first known codeine cocktail death, Pauviera Linson, a 14-year-old St. Paul girl, was found dead Monday morning, hours after she drank so-called "purple drank" or "dirty Sprite" at a Burnsville birthday party.

Two men -- Jacob Sawyer, 19, and birthday boy Robert Kibble, 25 -- were arrested in connection with Linson's death and remain in custody. Charges against the men still hadn't been filed as of late Thursday morning, but prosecutors are in the process of reviewing the case, St. Paul police spokesman Paul Paulos told City Pages.

Police say Linson and two other girls -- one 17, the other 12 -- were given marijuana, booze, and dirty Sprite at the party. They were taken back to St. Paul around 9 p.m. after Pauviera's mother texted her daughter and told her to come home. Since Linson's mother was in the process of moving into a new house, Pauviera was staying at an aunt's place. Around 9:25, she texted her mother and said: "I love you."

The Star Tribune provides details about what happened next:

Pauviera Linson
Pauviera Linson
Submitted photo via Star Tribune
Linson sat on her cousin Gerald Phillips' bed. Her eyes were red, her eyelids droopy. He told her to lie down, that she and her friend could sleep in his bed because he'd be gone overnight. When he returned Monday morning, he knew something wasn't right.

He reached out and touched his cousin, the friend still asleep. [Vomit was visible in Pauviera's mouth, Phillips told police.] "She was cold, and I knew," said Phillips, 18.

He ran out of the house, so frantic in his 911 call that neighbors had to step in and make separate calls to summon help. The friend was close behind, vomiting in the yard before she was whisked away to the hospital, where she was treated and released.

Pauviera's mother, Makiesha Johnson, told the Strib her daughter would've been a sophomore this fall at North High in North St. Paul. She aspired to be a fashion designer.

"It's a bad dream," Johnson said. "When am I going to wake up?"


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