BURNETT COUNTY -- Criminal charges including reckless homicide have been filed in Burnett County against Jordan Decorah (pictured left), of Hinckley, MN, and Bryan Belisle (pictured right), of Spooner, WI, following law enforcement’s investigation into a January 2021 overdose death.
On January 23, 2021, Washburn County Deputies were dispatched to the area of County Highway A and Little Bass Lake Road for a vehicle that was stopped in the middle of the road, straddling the centerline, according to criminal complaints filed in Burnett County Circuit Court.
Deputies found an unresponsive man in the driver’s seat of the vehicle. He was identified as Bryan Belisle. A 17-year-old male, also unresponsive, was found just outside the passenger door of the vehicle. This underage male was identified only by initials in the criminal complaints filed against Belisle and Decorah.
A witness on the scene had provided a dose of Narcan to the underage male and stated to law enforcement that they believed him to be overdosing on heroin.
Emergency medical personnel also arrived on the scene, and emergency medical procedures were given to both Belisle and the underage male. Belisle responded to the medical procedures, was transported to Spooner Medical and recovered. The underage male passenger was also transported to a hospital but did not recover.
The cause of death for the underage male was determined to be the toxic effects of multiple drugs, including fentanyl, alprazolam, gabapentin, and diphenhydramine, according to criminal complaints filed against Belisle and Decorah.
The subsequent law enforcement investigation into the death revealed that Jordan Decorah had made plans to meet the underage male on January 23, 2021, for the purpose of providing drugs in payment of a previous debt that Decorah owed to the underage male.
Belisle drove the underage male to the meeting, to act as ‘muscle’, according to the criminal complaint filed against him. The meeting allegedly occurred in the parking lot of the Lipsie Pines Tavern in the early afternoon of January 23, 2021. Information provided to law enforcement by witnesses indicated that Decorah got into the vehicle with Belisle and the underage male. The vehicle left the parking lot after which Decorah transferred drugs to the underage male.
The underage male then immediately used some of the drugs. Decorah allegedly warned the underage male that the substance was very strong and to be "careful bcuz somebody already od in the city off 1 hit on foil.....", according to the criminal complaint filed against him.
Belisle and the underage male told Decorah to get out of the vehicle a short time later, after which they consumed more of the substance that Decorah had provided to them.
A family member of the underage male received a phone call in the early afternoon of January 23, 2021, during which he stated that Decorah had repaid the debt, not with cash, but with heroin. The family member also spoke to Belisle, who also stated that they had received heroin from Decorah and that they would arrive at the family member’s residence "soon".
When interviewed by law enforcement Belisle stated that the underage male was not "high" before meeting with Decorah, and that he and the underage male used a mirror in the vehicle to consume the substance that Decorah provided to them.
Less than twenty minutes passed between the time of the phone call that the family member received from the underage male and when Washburn County Deputies were dispatched to the location of the stopped vehicle, according to the criminal complaints filed in the matter.
The criminal complaint filed against Decorah states that he provided fentanyl to the underage male and that Decorah knew it was potent enough to cause death. The criminal complaint filed against Belisle states that he aided and abetted the underage male in obtaining and consuming the fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a schedule II narcotic and potent pain medication. When taken in excess it can slow or stop breathing, lower blood pressure, cause coma, and death. Fentanyl has been disguised as counterfeit heroin or oxycodone and is illegal without a prescription. Neither Decorah, Belisle, nor the underage male had any valid prescription for fentanyl on January 23, 2021.
The drug exchange occurred in Burnett County, after which Belisle allegedly drove the vehicle to Washburn County, where Deputies responded to the report of the stopped vehicle.
Decorah is charged with Class C Felony First Degree Reckless Homicide; Class D Felony Intent. Contribute To The Delinquency Of A Child - Death - Party To A Crime; and Class E Felony Possession With Intent To Deliver Narcotics - Party To A Crime. A court date of June 23, 2021, is scheduled for Decorah on these charges.
At the time of this post, online court records indicate that there is also an active warrant for Decorah’s arrest for previous criminal charges filed against him including Class I Felony Possession of Narcotic Drugs, Class H Felony Attempt Forgery-Uttering, Misdemeanor Receiving or Concealing Stolen Property, and Misdemeanor Possess Drug Paraphernalia.
Belisle is charged with Class D Felony Second Degree Reckless Homicide; Class D Felony Intent. Contribute To The Delinquency Of A Child - Death - Party To A Crime; and Class E Felony Delivery of Schedule I or II Narcotics - Party to a Crime. Belisle is scheduled to make an initial appearance on these charges on June 23, 2021.
Online circuit records show that Belisle is also charged in Washburn County with Class H Felony Operating While Intoxicated-4th Offense, Misdemeanor Operate While Revoked, and Misdemeanor Bail Jump. Those charges also stem from a January 23, 2021 incident date and on January 25, 2021, Belisle was placed on a $5,000 cash bond on his Washburn County case.
In two additional Burnett County Circuit Court criminal cases previously filed against him, Belisle is charged with Class I Felony Possession of Narcotic Drugs; Misdemeanor Possess Drug Paraphernalia; Misdemeanor Bail Jump; and Misdemeanor Operate While Revoked. Details of those cases are not known, however, Belisle is scheduled to appear again in court in July 2021.
Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.