An ex-Waukesha man who called police to report his colleague had fatally overdosed on heroin was the one who provided her with the drug and is facing decades in prison for doing so, according to a criminal complaint.
Derek Engberg, who now resides in Milwaukee, also reportedly tried to revive the woman — 49-year-old Julie Bernal — before emergency personnel responded to his apartment, but couldn't. Bernal was later pronounced dead at Waukesha Memorial Hospital of an opiate intoxication.
Engberg, 25, was charged May 20 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with first-degree reckless homicide. He made his initial court appearance the same day and is being held at the county jail on a $5,000 cash bond.
According to the complaint, Engberg and Bernal drove together to Milwaukee to buy heroin on Dec. 30, 2015. Engberg knew a dealer there and bought heroin from him several times before, the complaint said.
He and Bernal allegedly injected themselves with the drug in a McDonald's bathroom before returning to Engberg's Waukesha apartment on Bluemound Road, where they snorted more heroin, according to the complaint.
Engberg told police in the complaint that Bernal threw up outside his apartment after using the drug then laid down. Engberg fell asleep shortly thereafter and reportedly told police there was still a 'pile' of heroin left on a table when he dozed off.
When he woke up, according to the complaint, the pile was gone and Bernal, who had foam coming out of her mouth, wasn't breathing.
Engberg said in the complaint he immediately called 911 and tried to give her CPR before police and fire department personnel arrived at his home.
Police reportedly found a small plastic tube, possibly used for snorting heroin, in Bernal's purse. She died Jan. 1, 2016.
According to her online obituary, Bernal had four children and worked as a night-shift manager at a local Walgreens, 221 E. Sunset Drive, which is where she met Engberg.
Online court records indicate Engberg's next hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, after press deadline. He's facing up to 40 years in prison and $100,000, if convicted.