Man charged with murder after heroin death - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Man charged with murder after heroin death

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SAGINAW (WJRT) -

(02/20/14) - Saginaw County prosecutors have charged a Saginaw man with killing a woman.

The murder weapon? Heroin.

It was last summer when the body of 50-year-old Darlene Kozak was found outside a Saginaw home. A man taken into custody shortly after her body was found is already behind bars.

Now, he faces a murder charge too.

There were a lot of questions in this case that were not answered for months. Now it's becoming a little more clear how Kozak died.

Kozak's body was found wrapped in a blanket outside the home of retired Saginaw Police officer Charles Braddock on Aug. 16.

Forty-nine-year-old Bradley Traxler lived in an apartment at Braddock's home. He was taken into custody after he was found with Kozak's pick-up truck a few hours after her body was found.

Traxler, who has been in prison since, now faces a murder charge for furnishing what investigators believe was a deadly dose of heroin to Kozak. Chief Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Boyd says the criminal charge is rare.

"That charge is not used often and typically it's used in a situation where someone gives someone the drugs directly, either by injection or for oral use, and the person dies from that dose of drugs," Boyd said.

Traxler is at the St. Louis Correctional Facility. He's already been sentenced for multiple parole violations. He also has breaking and entering and home invasion convictions on his record.

Braddock, who was not home when Kozak's body was found, died in November from complications following a stroke. Boyd believes Traxler and Kozak were the only ones there when she died.

Traxler faces life in prison if convicted.

"In our estimation, it's the same as shooting somebody, you give them an overdose of heroin and that's why the law treats it the same," Boyd said.

Traxler will be formally arraigned on Friday.

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