A suspected Chicago drug dealer faces between six and 30 years in prison if he is found guilty Friday of supplying the heroin that killed a Wheaton man in 2011.
DuPage County Judge Blanche Hill Fawell is expected to rule Friday whether Malcolm Brown, 25, sold the heroin that resulted in the overdose death of 38-year-old Stephen Briston, who was found dead in the bathroom of a Carol Stream apartment on July 28, 2011.
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Malcolm Brown, charged with drug-induced homicide, declined a previous plea offer and chose, instead, to have Fawell decide his fate rather than a jury.
During the two-day bench trial, prosecutors have argued, and witnesses have testified, that the day before the death Malcolm Brown sold five bags of heroin to Richard Brown, 37, who then took the drugs to the Carol Stream apartment and shared them with Briston and another man.
Richard Brown, a self-described recovering heroin addict, testified during the trial that following Briston's death he struck a deal with officials and agreed to set up another buy from Malcolm Brown and testify at his trial. In exchange, Richard Brown was only charged with heroin possession and not charged in Briston's death.
Assistant State's Attorney Audrey Anderson said when Malcolm Brown arrived to make the set up deal, police found him in possession of 38 packets of heroin marked with a black spade, matching other bags found in the Carol Stream apartment. Malcolm Brown later told police he dealt heroin to buy food, clothes and other items, including a Mercedes-Benz.
Assistant Public Defender Steve Dalton, however, has argued that despite Malcolm Brown, known as "Three Bag Mike," admitting to regularly selling heroin to Richard Brown, there is no way to confirm that Malcolm Brown's heroin was the lethal dose that killed Briston. While Briston's death was ruled a heroin overdose, officials said he also had slight traces of cocaine in his system.
Dalton argued that during the investigation, authorities mixed the bags sold by Malcolm Brown with others found in a Dumpster behind the apartment.
Some of the other bags also contained traces of cocaine, but Dalton said there is no way to know which ones contained heroin and which contained cocaine because at the lab, they were all packaged and tested together.
Closing arguments are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Friday in courtroom 4012.