Court Docs: Drug death leads to homicide charge

GREEN BAY, Wis. -

A Green Bay man is charged with reckless homicide in connection with 2017 death of Joseph Thompson Derge.

The suspect, 35-year-old Joel Ivory French, had a court appearance Friday.

Derge died “due to the combined effects of fentanyl and heroin,” according to court paperwork.

“Information acquired during the investigation is that the victim of the overdose had purchased heroin from French” on April 14, 2017, court paperwork said.  An attorney for French was not listed on an online court database.

Derge’s father called 911 the day of his son’s death to report that Joseph had been found unconscious in the family basement.

Deputies responded to find a defibrillator hooked up to Joseph and learned someone gave Joseph Narcan, a narcotic overdose treatment, court documents said. 

Derge died at the age of 24.

Joseph’s parents told authorities that Joseph was addicted to heroin, documents said.

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