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updated: 2/23/2014 5:53 PM

Kane heroin overdose case appears headed to trial

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The case of a 42-year-old Aurora man charged in the spring 2013 heroin overdose death of his longtime girlfriend appears headed to trial.

Kane County Judge Clint Hull recently denied a move by defense attorneys to ban statements Charles Minard made to police after his girlfriend's death.

Minard, of the 900 block of Grove Street, faces six to 30 years in prison if convicted of drug-induced homicide in the death of Taffie Thompson, 41.

Authorities were called to a house Minard was renting after a dog was found running around, covered in blood.

When police arrived, they found Minard on the couch with his wrist slit in an apparent suicide attempt. Thompson was found dead in a bedroom, according to court testimony and a search warrant.

Defense attorneys unsuccessfully argued that Minard, who was questioned while in a hospital suffering from heroin withdrawal and on medication for his injuries, was coerced into incriminating himself and did not give statements voluntarily.

"Mr. Minard did not want to participate in any police questioning, but felt that the only way to get police to leave him alone to rest and recover was to acquiesce to their questioning," wrote Kane County Assistant Public Defender Kim Bilbrey. "Officers knew that the questions they were asking Mr. Minard would elicit incriminating responses. This is precisely why these questions were asked and why these statements were recorded. Officers knew that if Mr. Minard became aware of his rights, he may not speak freely and incriminate himself the way he ultimately did."

Prosecutors argued police did not need to read Minard his rights because he was not under arrest at the time of questioning. He eventually was charged in May 2013.

Minard is next due in court March 5 to set a date for trial. He is being held at the Kane County jail on $300,000 bail while the case is pending.

In 2013, 22 heroin overdose deaths occurred in Kane County, according to the Kane County coroner's office. In 2012, there were 27 heroin overdose deaths.

Sheriff offers scholarship: Kane County Sheriff Pat Perez will award a $500 scholarship as part of the Illinois Sheriffs' Association's plan to distribute more than $53,000 in scholarships across the state.

The scholarship may be applied to tuition, books and fees. Applicants must be permanent Illinois resident and enrolled full-time during the 2014-15 school year.

Applications are available at Perez's office, 37W755 Route 38, St. Charles, or at ilsheriff.org. Students must complete the application, answer the essay question and return all documentation to the sheriff's office by March 15.

hhitzeman@dailyherald.com

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