3 people face murder charges in overdose death in Little Falls

LITTLE FALLS--Three people face third-degree murder charges for their alleged involvement in the death of 22-year-old Travis James Scherping, who died last summer from a drug overdose.

Callie Mains Statema
Callie Mains Statema

LITTLE FALLS-Three people face third-degree murder charges for their alleged involvement in the death of 22-year-old Travis James Scherping, who died last summer from a drug overdose.

Jerad Michael Whitford, 23, Little Falls, Callie Mains Statema, 21, Little Falls and Jason Lee White, 35, residence unknown, were summoned to appear on the charges in Morrison County District Court in Little Falls. First appearances for Whitford and Statema are scheduled at 10 a.m. Feb. 13 in front of Judge Douglas P. Anderson. There is a warrant out for the arrest of White.

The charges stem from a June 14, 2016, incident of a possible drug overdose at a Little Falls home. Little Falls police were informed Scherping wasn't breathing and had allegedly overdosed on heroin. He was found unconscious in a bed with a weak pulse.

Paramedics attempted to render aid and transported Scherping to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead four days later on or about June 18, 2016.

According to the criminal complaint filed in the case:


• On the night of June 14, 2016, officers with the Little Falls Police Department were called to respond to an address on Seventh Street in northeast Little Falls, regarding a possible drug overdose. Officers were informed Scherping was not breathing and had reportedly overdosed on heroin. Officers arrived at the residence and were escorted into the home by the homeowner. Inside a bedroom, Scherping was lying unconscious on a bed and had a large amount of vomit on his face and shirt. Scherping was taking labored breaths and had a weak pulse.

• Ambulance personnel arrived on scene and immediately began to render aid. Scherping was transported to the hospital but was later pronounced dead on or about June 18, 2016.

• Law enforcement immediately began to conduct an investigation into Scherping's overdose. Present at the home at the time of Scherping's overdose were the homeowner, Statema and another female. Officers were given consent to search the residence. Drug paraphernalia was found throughout the lower bedroom. Inside Statema's purse was a cigarette pack with aluminum foil bindles with brown powder inside that appeared to be heroin. The female and Statema gave statements to law enforcement about what happened.

• Statema stated Scherping is her boyfriend and she is an addict and drives to the Twin Cities every few days to purchase drugs. Statema stated on June 14, 2016, she decided to drive down and pick up heroin for both herself and Scherping. Statema stated she asked the female to ride with her. Statema stated she was able to get a hold of her dealer that she usually purchases from, identified by his nickname "Turk." Statema stated that Turk arranged a deal to purchase from another individual. Statema brought the heroin back to Little Falls and Scherping came over and she shared some of the heroin with him. She did not know how much he consumed. She later found him in the bedroom with vomit around him and began screaming for someone to call 911.

• The other female gave a similar statement. Both women acknowledged that Whitford was the actual purchaser of the heroin. Whitford accompanied the women to the metro area and Whitford made arrangements to purchase heroin from an individual in Minneapolis. Statema gave Whitford money to purchase the heroin. Whitford arranged the purchase, bought the heroin and he gave the heroin to Statema.

• The purchase was made from an individual identified by his nickname "Jay." The trio went back to Little Falls and when law enforcement was called to the scene, Whitford sneaked out a window to avoid arrest.

• Between June and August of 2016, law enforcement conducted a number of controlled buys in Minneapolis using a confidential informant. The informant contacted the heroin dealer known as Jay and purchased heroin and turned it over to law enforcement. On Aug. 22, 2016, following one of these controlled buys, a Minneapolis police officer stopped the vehicle that the drug dealer, Jay, was driving. Jay was identified as White by the Minneapolis police officer. On July 1, 2016, Whitford was located and arrested. He agreed to give a taped statement. Whitford acknowledged accompanying the two women to the metro area. He admitted Statema gave him $450 in cash. He admitted he arranged to purchase heroin from the dealer and he conducted the transaction and exchanged the money for 3 grams of heroin. He admitted giving the heroin to Statema and returning to Little Falls with the women.

• On Oct. 11, 2016, Statema went to the sheriff's office to participate in a photo lineup and identified White as the heroin dealer known as Jay. The woman also identified White in a photo lineup.


• Cellphone records were obtained for cellphone numbers known to belong to both White and Whitford. The records show that on June 14, 2016, there were six telephone calls between Whitford and White between 10-11 a.m.

• The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office officer completed a final autopsy protocol for the death of Scherping. The medical examiner concluded Scherping died of complications from opiate toxicity.

What To Read Next
Get Local


Must Reads