A Chicago man was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison for delivering the heroin that killed a Wheaton resident in July 2011 in a Carol Stream apartment.
Judge Blanche Hill Fawell said she believes Malcolm Brown, 26, did not intend to kill 38-year-old Stephen Briston by selling heroin to a third man. But she said a message needs to be sent to other drug dealers about the seriousness of drug-induced homicide crimes.
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Brown faced a sentence of between six and 30 years.
Richard Brown testified during Malcolm Brown's bench trial that he bought the heroin from Malcolm Brown sometime on July 27 before picking up Briston and going to a third man's Carol Stream apartment. The three men did drugs and Richard Brown gave Briston some of the heroin he had just purchased.
Briston was found dead at 6 a.m. July 28 in the apartment. His death later was ruled a heroin overdose.
Later that day, in exchange for not being charged with drug-induced homicide, Richard Brown cooperated with police to set up Malcolm Brown for a police sting. Malcolm Brown was arrested when he arrived at a Carol Stream hotel to sell Richard Brown $300 worth of heroin and had 38 bags of heroin in his pockets.
Malcolm Brown pleaded guilty to possession and was sentenced to five years in prison in that case, which will run concurrent to the 10 years he was sentenced to Monday.
Assistant State's Attorney Audrey Anderson sought a 23-year sentence for Brown, saying his "significant" criminal history, which includes 2009 convictions for kidnapping, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and delivery of a controlled substance, warranted a longer sentence.
"This defendant is a drug dealer and that's all he is," Anderson said. "He poses an extra danger to the public because the drugs he sells literally kill people."
Assistant Public Defender Steve Dalton argued that while Brown admitted to regularly selling heroin, he never considered the consequences.
"(Malcolm Brown) never imagined he would contribute to someone's death," Dalton said. "He is truly shaken by this. He never intended to kill anyone."
Brown, who has already served 1,014 days in jail, pleaded with Fawell before she handed down her sentence.
"Through adversity, I am not the same man I was three years ago," Brown said. "Please give me a second chance to be a productive member of society."
Brown will serve 75 percent of the sentence and receive credit for the nearly three years he has already served. With good behavior, he could be eligible for parole in 2018.