MURRAY — A Taylorsville man was charged Monday with murder, accused of causing a woman to fatally overdose by slipping methamphetamine into her drink, possibly to act as an aphrodisiac.
In addition to murder, a first-degree felony, Joshua Ryan Bridgewaters, 36, is also charged in 3rd District Court with obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, and tampering with a witness, a third-degree felony.
Stacey Buchanan, 33, died on May 29, 2016. Bridgewaters, Buchanan's boyfriend, told police the two were drinking wine at a barbecue when Buchanan started to feel ill. About 7 p.m., Bridgewaters said he sought help from a neighbor who is a paramedic, according to charging documents.
But the neighbor later told investigators that by the time he saw her, he believed Buchanan "had been down for a while," the charges state. She was "not breathing, she did not have a pulse and her lungs were full of vomit and fluid," the charges state. Despite her condition, police say Bridgewaters had not called 911.
Detectives later learned that about 4 p.m., before Buchanan died, she called her mother "and told her someone had poisoned her drink," the charges state. When the mother called back a short time later, she said she could hear Buchanan tell Bridgewaters to "stop it" and "stop grabbing my phone" before Bridgewaters took the phone and told Buchanan's mother that everything was fine and that she didn't need to come over, according to the court documents.
After her death, Bridgewaters repeatedly contacted his friend who was also at the barbecue, asking what he had told police so he "could have the same story," the charges state. This made the friend suspicious and prompted him to confront Bridgewaters about what had happened.
"Bridgewaters said he gave Ms. Buchanan too much methamphetamine," the charges state. "(The friend) was under the impression that Bridgewaters put the methamphetamine in the coffee mug Ms. Buchanan was drinking wine from and that Ms. Buchanan was unaware that the methamphetamine was placed in her drink."
Bridgewaters also told his friend that he heard of stories "about consumption of methamphetamine spicing up sexual relations and that Bridgewaters gave Ms. Buchanan the methamphetamine in an attempt to cause arousal," according to the charges.Comment on this story
An autopsy concluded that Buchanan died of "methamphetamine intoxication," which raised questions from Buchanan's family because they knew she was not a drug user, according to investigators.
Police also found marijuana in Bridgewater's coat, something he asked his friend to take the blame for because he was on parole and was not supposed to be around drugs, the charges state.
A $1 million warrant was issued Monday for Bridgewaters' arrest.
In 2007, Bridgewaters was convicted of aggregated robbery and sentenced to the Utah State Prison for a term of five years to life.
According to her obituary, Buchanan is survived by four children.