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May 13, 2013 8:44 PM by Andy Koen

Overdose death at halfway house suggests easy access to drugs

PUEBLO - A Colorado Springs mother is frustrated with the lack of answers provided to her 18 months after her son died of a drug overdose while serving his sentence at a Pueblo halfway house.

The body of Adam Beauchamp, 27, was found in his bed at Minnequa Community Corrections on the morning of November 21, 2011. The coroner later ruled the cause of death as acute Fentanyl toxicity.

Adam was Cheryl Collins only son. She admits he had struggled with drug addiction in the past and was even serving time on a methamphetamine conviction.

However, in the months just before his death he was holding down a steady job at the south side IHOP and was even studying at Pueblo Community College. In fact, a report signed by Beauchamp and his case worker on November 15, 2011 attested to his sobriety.

"He wanted to be a dad, he just wanted love and he wanted a life," Collins said.

She says she tried to find out how Adam could've gotten his hands on such a lethal amount of Fentanyl, but got the run-around instead.

"If he was on the streets and he would have done this, okay," Collins said. "But not in a facility like this. I believe something is wrong."

Both internal documents and the police report suggest Minnequa staff members left Adam alone for at least 13 hours before they found his body. No one called for an ambulance, and his roommates didn't seem to notice anything out of the ordinary.

Two other inmates at the facility later made statements to case workers identifying one potential drug dealer. One of those inmates said she saw Adam come, "stumbling outside to smoke with them."

She said the dealer and another inmate laughed at Adam because of the way he was walking. Despite video surveillance of the area, the dealer still tried to sell her the same kind of "cancer patches" for $15.

"What are you trying to do, Michael Jackson him to death," she replied to the dealer referencing Beauchamp's obvious intoxication.

To Collins, the statement is proof of rampant drug dealing and lax security at the facility.

"People were aware but no one tried to do anything," Collins said.

Staff members searched the building following Adam's overdose but no drugs were ever found. Likewise, charges were never brought against the suspected dearler.

Collins was unhappy with the outcome of the Pueblo Police Department investigation and pressed District Attorney Jeff Chostner to take on the case. She also requested Jim Welton, the Inspector General of Colorado Department of Corrections, look into her son's death.

Welton declined. Choster assigned an investigator to the case but later wrote Collins saying, "there was no independent evidence to support the allegation of drugs being dispensed."

Nevertheless, Collins says she can't rest until there is some kind of closure for what happened.

"I don't want another mother to go through it."

Michael Holland, director of Minnequa Community Corrections, said Adam would have been punished for the drug use had he been caught. His most recent urine analysis hadn't shown signs of drug use.

"We watch them closely and make corrections as we find them but there's no guarantee that 100 percent of them are going to come in and do nothing wrong," Holland said.

We'll include more from Director Holland's interview as our investigation continues Tuesday.

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