Wyoming DCI Investigates Role of Evansville Man in Death of Casper Teen
Logan Winfield Martz was 19 years old when he was taken off life support Nov. 26.
That came nearly four days after he was arrested for allegedly being under the influence of the hallucinogenic drug LSD, nicknamed "acid."
And for days after his death, investigators believed that some hallucinogen -- LSD, PCP or some other drug -- was the cause. And the reason they believed that was, Martz told them so.
Then came the autopsy.
Natrona County Coroner Connie Jacobsen says no LSD was found in Martz's blood.
And that adds yet another angle to the investigation of the Evansville man that agents with the Wyoming Department of Investigation believe sold Logan the drug that evidently led to his death.
An affidavit written by special agents points to Johnathan Kyle Arket, 19, as "the source of the acid that ultimately caused the death of Logan Martz."
Court documents indicate investigating officers suspect PCP may have been the substance Martz allegedly consumed that night, rather than LSD. But Jacobsen's report shows no PCP was found in Martz's blood, either.
In her verdict and case docket on Martz, Jacobsen lists the cause of death as "Anoxic Brain injury. Seizure activity with cardiopulmonary arrest. Illicit drug substances."
An anoxic brain injury is caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, which in Martz's case was a result of the seizure. Jacobsen says something caused Martz to have that seizure, but that cause is not yet clear.
Tests revealed no drugs besides cannabinoids in Martz's blood, which was drawn when he was admitted to Wyoming Medical Center on the morning of Nov. 24.
If Martz had consumed LSD or PCP in the hours before his arrest, Jacobsen said Tuesday, either drug would have been revealed by blood tests. Those drugs, she said, do not clear from the human body so quickly as to have been out of Martz's system by the time his blood was drawn Nov. 24.
Martz was arrested the evening of Nov. 22 after someone called police about a young man acting strangely. That call led officers to find Martz apparently intoxicated in a liquor store, "unable to comprehend reality," according to an affidavit.
After being taken into custody, Martz was medically cleared at the hospital before being booked into jail. Court documents say Martz told police officers he had taken LSD with a group of people earlier that day.
Martz said he believed the LSD came from a woman who was 18 years old at the time.
Her name is not mentioned further in court documents, and it is unclear whether she is a subject of the ongoing death investigation by DCI agents and investigators with the Natrona County Sheriff's Office. Natrona County Circuit Court records show she has not been charged with a crime since 2015.
Martz remained in custody at the Natrona County Detention Center until late the next day, Nov. 23, when he "began to exhibit extremely strange behavior and later began to have a seizure," according to an affidavit.
In that affidavit, a Natrona County Sheriff's investigator said Martz was immediately taken back to the hospital at about 2 a.m. Nov. 24. He was later transferred to the intensive care unit.
Natrona County Sheriff Gus Holbrook in February awarded certificates of commendation to Corporal Spencer Hard, Deputy John Bruce and Nurse Karen Fuller for their efforts in quickly getting medical attention for an inmate that day.
The investigator arrived at the hospital at about 8 a.m. on Nov. 24 and learned Martz was "in critical condition due to the intake or ingestion of some type of drug, possibly 'PCP' or 'Acid.'"
Martz's condition "deteriorated rapidly," the investigator notes, and a preliminary test showed no activity in Martz's brain. He was placed on life support that day, but was taken off life support two days later and died about 2 p.m. Nov. 26.
In a separate affidavit, filed in support of a DCI agent's request for a search warrant, the agent says on Nov. 28 DCI discovered "an ongoing drug trafficking organization that was operating in the Natrona County/Casper area."
"In particular, this drug trafficking organization was distributing Acid/PCP and other hallucinogenic drugs to high school aged [sic] children in the Natrona County area," the agent wrote.
Martz, it turns out, was a suspect in that drug ring.
Meanwhile, Arket was identified as "the main distributor of acid in the Casper/Natrona County area."
"Your affiant was able to identify and link Arket as the source of the acid that ultimately caused the death of Logan Martz," the agent wrote in his affidavit.
Also on Nov. 28, the agent interviewed a juvenile who allegedly admitted to coordinating "a drug transaction for Acid [sic] on behalf of other known juveniles and one adult male, Logan Martz."
That juvenile reportedly contacted another juvenile and eventually bought 15 "tabs" of LSD for $210 at about 3:45 p.m. on Nov. 22, the day of Martz's arrest.
After buying the LSD, the juvenile buyer and his sister allegedly distributed it to several friends who were waiting in a nearby vehicle, one of whom was Martz. The group reportedly discussed how many hits of acid each person would take.
The juvenile later got a text from his sister telling him Martz and the other teens had been taken to Wyoming Medical Center for symptoms of an LSD overdose, and that Martz subsequently died "from complications associated with the overdose from the same acid that was purchased," the agent wrote.
Also on Nov. 28, the agent interviewed another juvenile and learned one of the teens involved "contacted his dealer of Acid, Johnathan Arket, via text and asked for acid to sell."
The teen said on four separate occasions within the last week, Arket had fronted him LSD to sell. One person that teen sold to was the same juvenile from whom Martz apparently got his LSD, according to the affidavit.
Arket allegedly picked the drugs up from Denver, Colo., and was planning to have future shipments sent to him through the mail, the affidavit says.
Further investigation turned up text messages between the juveniles and Martz. Those text messages "further describes [sic] that the 15 acid laced tabs had 30 drops of acid per tab," according to the affidavit.
The next day, Nov. 29, investigators confirmed that a package from Englewood, Colo. was delivered.
Arket has not been arrested or charged in connection with Martz's death. Likewise, he has not been accused of possessing or distributing LSD or PCP.
The DCI told K2 Radio the investigation into Martz's death is ongoing. Once the investigation is complete, the results will be submitted to the Natrona County District Attorney's Office for review.
The department also emphasizes that the "acid" and "PCP" referenced in investigators' affidavits are described as such based on descriptions provided by witnesses. Lab testing has not been confirmed the presence of either of those substances.
Jacobsen is still working on the case, hoping to determine what triggered the seizure that led to Martz's death.
"Just because someone dies doesn't mean I stop taking care of them," Jacobsen said in a phone interview.
"I'm a nurse first," she added. "I'll continue to take care of them and their families."
In the meantime, Arket is headed to prison.
He was arrested over a month ago when officers went to his home to serve felony arrest warrants. Arket allegedly tried to run and fight with officers; he had to be tased before he could be taken into custody.
Natrona County District Court Thomas Sullins on Tuesday sentenced Arket to four-and-a-half years to five years of imprisonment, with 44 days credit for time served, on Monday after pleading guilty to one felony charge of possession of marijuana as a third or subsequent offense. Sullins also recommended Arket participate in the boot camp program.
The sentence is to run concurrently with prison sentences Arket received in two additional criminal matters.
Back on Dec. 15, District Court Judge Catherine Wilking sentenced Arket to a suspended four- to six-year prison term after Arket pleaded guilty to a felony count of delivery of marijuana. He was placed on supervised probation for three years.
The next week, Judge Daniel Forgey sentenced Arket to a four- to five-year suspended prison term, concurrent with the sentence in Wilking's court, also ordering Arket to serve three years of supervised probation for Arket's conviction on a charge of strangulation of a household member.
At the end of January, Arket's probation agent filed a petition to revoke Arket's probation. The agent alleged Arket admitted to using spice -- a synthetic form of marjiuana -- having an unapproved visitor and possessing drug paraphernalia.