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Hammond Rejects Plea Deal in Reckless Homicide Case

By Terrell Boetcher

Reprinted Courtesy of Sawyer County Record


A Hayward area woman who is charged with first-degree reckless homicide by delivering a powerful opioid to a woman who died after consuming the drug appeared for a hearing in Sawyer County Circuit Court Thursday, Oct. 7.


Mary Ann Hammond, 34, 13029W Water Tower Lane, Hayward, is charged in the June 2020 death of 53-year-old Lisa D. Quagon at a residence at 7725N Dixon Avenue in the town of Bass Lake.


The court charges state that Hammond caused the death of Quagon by selling or giving her Percocet pills (Fentanyl and Hydrocodone), which Quagon consumed on June 9, 2020. Quagon died on June 12, 2020, after being taken to a Duluth hospital.


Hammond also is charged with two felony counts of recklessly endangering the safety of two other women who purchased the pills from Hammond and consumed the pills at the Dixon Avenue residence.


The St. Louis County assistant medical examiner stated that Quagon died on June 12, 2020, “due to the toxic effects of fentanyl and hydrocodone.”


On Aug. 1, 2020, an officer met with Sawyer County Coroner John Froemel, who stated that Quagon died of a lethal dose of fentanyl.


During the Oct. 7 hearing before Judge John Yackel, Hammond rejected a proposed plea agreement between the defense and prosecuting attorneys which reportedly would have included prison time.


A jury trial had been set for Oct. 6-8 in Sawyer County Court, but that was canceled due to the proposed plea agreement.


At the Oct. 7 hearing, Hammond also dismissed her attorney, Joel Larimore. “I don’t believe that he can represent me as well as I need to be,” Hammond said. She said that she has been “Homeless for a month or so” and “We were playing phone tag as well.”


Larimore stated that he had been unable to contact Hammond for a week.


Judge Yackel set a $25,000 cash bond for Hammond. He directed her and Larimore to contact the state public defender’s office to get an attorney. If that is not possible, then the judge will appoint an attorney to represent Hammond.


A jury trial will be set within 90 days, possibly on Nov. 15-17. A status conference is set for Oct. 19.


“I will not let her (Hammond) go to trial without an attorney,” Judge Yackel stated.


Hammond said there have been threats to her and her family. Judge Yackel said she could file for a temporary restraining order against those who make threats.


The prosecutor in the case is Sawyer County Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Sortedahl.


Six persons were in the audience at Thursday’s hearing.