Beaver Dam man sentenced to two years in prison for delivering fatal dose of heroin

May 2, 2019

JUNEAU – A 41-year-old Beaver Dam man was sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of reckless homicide for providing the heroin that caused the 2016 overdose death of James Hook.

Dodge County Circuit Court Judge Steven Bauer sentenced Jason Thompson to two years of prison followed by seven years of extended supervision for first degree reckless homicide to run concurrent to a two years prison and three years of extended supervision on a bail jumping charge.

Thompson was found guilty following a three-day jury trial on Jan. 9 for the two charges against him.

“I miss my friend Jim, and I will always have a special place in my heart when I think about him,” Thompson said during his sentencing Wednesday.

Thompson said he was blinded by his addiction, but he now takes full responsibility for his actions on Feb. 9, 2016.

Thompson, Hook and another man went to Madison to purchase heroin after pooling their money together. Hook overdosed after going home with the drugs.

Hook’s autopsy revealed multi-drug toxicity as the cause of death, with cardiomegaly and emphysema listed as other significant conditions. One of the drugs in his system was heroin.

The state recommended 10 years of prison followed by 5 years of extended supervision on the homicide and 5 years of consecutive probation on the bail jumping.

Dodge County District Attorney managing attorney Bob Barrington said the nature of the offense was serious and during his trial and during another court case, Thompson was manipulative and self-serving.

“I think he has exhausted everything we have to offer him,” Barrington said. “The only way for rehabilitation and public protection for him, and for people like him, is to be in prison.”

Thompson family and friends showed their support by attending the sentencing. About a dozen people wrote letters of support.

The defense recommended three years of prison followed by five years of extended supervision on the homicide and five years of consecutive probation on the bail jumping.

Defense attorney John Smerlinski said Thompson has spent 2 ½ years in prison and he has dealt with his addiction while in jail.

“I don’t see how my client would get treatment on a long-term initial confinement,” Smerlinski said.

In addition, Hook had multiple substances in front of him when he was found dead, Smerlinski said.

Bauer said that of all the ways a person can commit reckless homicide, this is the most mitigated. He said the court needed to “balance the crime, not the charge.” He went on to say that while Hook is technically a victim, he chose to take the drugs given to him by Thompson.

Bauer said that having an addiction is not an excuse for committing a crime.

“You are not more dangerous than your typical drug addict,” Bauer said.

Thompson set up the purchase of the drug but both Hook and Stalker also went in to purchase the drug and Hook also was the one who drove them to Madison to purchase the drug, Bauer said.

In addition, Thompson must pay restitution to Hook’s family in the amount of $4,381 for Hook’s funeral.