Metro East residents know just how tough it can be to face drug charges, especially when a homicide charge is also involved. Fortunately for one Bethalto woman, the drug-induced homicide charges she was facing have been dropped.
The 27-year-old woman pleaded guilty to two lesser drug charge allegations of delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school. The controlled substance in question was Xanax.
The woman will face sentencing for the lesser drug charges later this summer. She could potentially receive sentences of three to seven years of prison time for each of the charges to which she acknowledged guilt.
This case was interesting in that it showed the potential weakness of an Illinois law requiring that delivery of controlled substances must actually take place in the state of Illinois in order to be prosecuted under state law. If delivery of an illegal drug actually took place across the bridge from Metro East, in the state of Missouri, drug-induced homicide charges in Illinois have been found inapplicable; rather, the drugs must have been purchased in Illinois for the statute to apply.
The woman in this case is undoubtedly relieved that the drug-induced homicide charges have been dropped. The lesser drug charge allegations of delivering controlled substances near a school carry a much lighter sentence than conviction on homicide charges no doubt would have. Now, she can focus on moving on with her life once she has satisfied the terms of her yet to be rendered Illinois sentence for the mistakes she apparently made.
Of course, people are human and mistakes are often made. However, just because someone has been accused of a drug crime does not mean they are guilty. Metro East residents who find they are facing a similar drug charge to those in this case have the right to mount a vigorous legal defense against any such allegations.
Source: The Edwardsville Intelligencer, "Prosecutors drop charges on drug induced homicide," Steve Horrell, June 22, 2012