Ex-Wilco Guitarist Died of Accidental OD: Coroner

Painkiller fentanyl cited in Bennett's death
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 23, 2009 2:53 PM CDT
Jay Bennett is shown in a photo from his Myspace profile.   (Myspace)
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(Newser) – Authorities say former Wilco guitarist Jay Bennett died of an overdose of a pain killer, and that they're investigating his death as an accident. Champaign County (Ill.) Coroner Duane Northrup says tests show the 45-year-old musician died after taking fentanyl, a drug found in patches commonly prescribed to treat chronic pain.

Bennett died May 24 after being found unresponsive in his home in Urbana. He worked as a sound engineer and played instruments for Wilco in 1994-2001. Bennett sued Wilco lead singer Jeff Tweedy in early May. Bennett claimed he was owed royalties for songs during his 7 years with the group.