A Utah man was charged with murder Monday, for allegedly putting methamphetamine into his girlfriend’s drink in 2016.
Joshua Bridgewaters was charged for first degree murder, obstructing justice, and tampering with a witness.
According to charging documents, police and emergency personnel were dispatched to a residence in Salt Lake County on May 29, 2016, for a report of an unconscious female. Stacey Buchanan was found laying on the floor not breathing, and was transferred to a hospital where she was declared dead.
When police interviewed Bridgewaters, he stated that he and his girlfriend Buchanan were drinking wine the night of her death, when Buchanan vomited and had a seizure. Bridgewaters allegedly went to his paramedic neighbor’s house, asking for assistance. Bridgewaters’ neighbor told police that he entered the bedroom, and saw Buchanan laying on the floor. Based on his prior experience as a paramedic, the neighbor determined that Buchanan had been down for some time, and expected the cause to be an overdose. Bridgewaters’ neighbor instructed his son to call 911, which had not yet been done.
Police spoke with Buchanan’s mother, who told them that she had been using her daughter’s vehicle, and watching her children while she attended a barbecue at Bridgewaters’ home. Buchanan’s mother told police that she had received a call from her daughter earlier that day, and was told that her drink had been poisoned. Buchanan asked her mother to pick her up, and then the phone call disconnected.
When Buchanan’s mother called her daughter back, she stated that Bridgewaters could be heard in the background, and eventually took the phone, and said Buchanan was fine.
Police interviewed Bridgewaters’ neighbor again on May 31, 2016. The neighbor told police that Bridgewaters had allegedly contacted him multiple times following the incident, “asking him specifically what he told police so that Bridgewaters could have the same story.” The neighbor allegedly became suspicious, and asked Bridgewaters what he had done. At that point, Bridgewaters admitted to the neighbor that he had given Buchanan too much methamphetamine. Bridgewaters stated that he had heard stories that methamphetamine could improve couple’s sex lives, and stated he had given Buchanan the drug to cause arousal.
On May 31, the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on Stacey Buchanan. The cause of death was determined to be methamphetamine intoxication, and a warrant for Bridgewaters arrest was made.
Bridgewaters was arrested and booked into Salt Lake County jail, and bail was set to $1 million and seven dollars.