Image courtesy Renville County Attorney’s Office

A Montevideo woman, Deja Padilla, 21, was sentenced this week after pleading guilty to third degree murder for the drug overdose death of Alexis Nicole Labatte, 23, in Nov. 2021. At the plea hearing, Padilla acknowledged she had traveled to Labatte’s residence to sell her the fentanyl which caused Labatte’s death.

At the time, Padilla had pending drug charges in a variety of counties and eight active arrest warrants.

According to the complaint, Renville County dispatch received a 911 call shortly after midnight on November 13, 2021 about an overdose at a residence in Renville. The caller reported that there was an unconscious female at the residence, but that the female was still breathing. Later investigation showed the caller was Padilla, and her cell phone information showed her driving away from the residence at the time of the call.

Law enforcement also obtained information from Padilla’s cell phone including numerous messages about heroin and methamphetamine sales, as well as advice from her boyfriend to turn off her location data.

At almost the same time as the incident with Labatte, Montevideo Police responded to another overdose in which the victim survived. That victim stated she had purchased heroin from Padilla that night, and that she then suffered an overdose.

Following her plea, Padilla was sentenced to 84 months with the Minnesota Department of Corrections. No representative appeared at court on Labatte’s behalf. Padilla did not make a statement during sentencing or apologize for her actions.

Renville County Attorney Kelsie Kingstrom stated the county has experienced eight murder or manslaughter related cases since 2017, and that with Padilla’s plea the county attorney’s office now has no open cases of this type.