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Minnesota jail won't release murder suspect in death of PR teen to face lesser N.D. charges

Adam Budge

The man facing murder charges in Minnesota in the drug overdose death of a teenage boy did not appear at his hearing in Grand Forks on unrelated drug charges because Minnesota officials won't release him, his attorney said Thursday.

Adam Budge, 18, is still in jail in Crookston on far heavier charges and is expected to be indicted by a federal grand jury, defense attorney DeWayne Johnston has said.

Polk County prosecutors charge Budge with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the June 15 death of Elijah Stai, 17.

Budge is also the focus of federal investigation into what investigators call a synthetic drug-making and dealing operation in the Grand Forks area. The drugs have allegedly killed two, including Stai, and led to a handful of overdoses requiring hospitalization.

All of which means the relatively minor misdemeanor drug possession and drunk driving charges Budge faces in Grand Forks, which stem from a March citation, won't be prosecuted anytime soon, court officials said Thursday.

Budge's omnibus hearing at which he can formally enter a plea to the Minnesota felony charges is scheduled Aug. 6 in Crookston.

He was arrested in East Grand Forks at his father's home, but court documents say he also lived with his mother in Fargo