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Published September 09, 2011, 09:55 AM

Police blame Maple Grove death on synthetic pot

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (AP) — Police in Maple Grove have concluded a man's death was not a suicide, but an accident brought on by synthetic marijuana.

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (AP) — Police in Maple Grove have concluded a man's death was not a suicide, but an accident brought on by synthetic marijuana.

Officers found 22-year-old Alex Winterhalter bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head in April. After a four-month investigation, a recent police report calls his death an accident resulting from an altered state of mind caused by chemicals.

The Star Tribune reports Friday (http://bit.ly/nEqqlO) that Winterhalter's death is the second in Minnesota linked to synthetic drugs. A 19-year-old died last spring after ingesting another drug at a party in Blaine.

Winterhalter's parents dispute the finding, insisting synthetic drugs played no role in his death and they don't believe he was using any when he died. But his friends told the newspaper he was a heavy user of synthetic marijuana.

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