Drug charge laid against teen in overdose death

The tragic death of an 18-year-old Edwardsville man has led officials to lay charges against a young woman they allege gave drugs to the victim. The 19-year-old Pierron woman is currently in custody in Madison County, awaiting trial for the drug charges. If she is convicted on the homicide drug charge, she could face jail time of up to 30 years.

On the morning of March 22, police in Troy responded to a call at a house on Reid Avenue and found the apparent victim unresponsive when they arrived upon the scene. Any efforts to revive him failed and the 18-year-old male was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. The coroner concluded the victim had died as a result of a heroin overdose.

A further investigation conducted by Illinois police officials raised suspicions as to whether the drugs were self-administered. Investigators later arrested the female suspect they believe administered the heroin to the victim approximately two hours before his death. The accused woman was arrested and taken to the Madison County Jail, where her bail was set in the amount of $100,000.

The drug charge faced by the defendant is classified as a Type X felony in the state of Illinois. As always, however, the burden of proof rests with the prosecution, who will have to conclusively prove the defendant administered a fatal dose of heroin to the victim. Even if they succeed in so doing, prosecutors may also need to provide evidence of harmful intent. A thorough understanding of Illinois drug laws will be of benefit in the defendant's case.

Source: stltoday.com, "Teen faces drug-death charge after teen she gave heroin dies," Marlon A. Walker, March 25, 2013

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