DuPage County Judge Blanche Hill Fawell said she needed to send a message to drug dealers earlier this month when she sentenced a Chicago man to 10 years for drug-induced homicide.
On Wednesday, she reiterated her message when she declined to reconsider the sentence imposed on Malcolm Brown, 26, for delivering the heroin that killed a Wheaton resident in July 2011 in a Carol Stream apartment.
"I said during sentencing that I did not believe (Brown) intended to kill anyone and I still believe that to be true," Fawell said. "But the defendant seems like he has had lots of benefits at home but chose to squander them. The motion to reconsider the sentence is declined."
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.
Brown's attorney, Steve Dalton, said Brown's offense was a serious one, but he doesn't think anyone benefits from Brown going away for the equivalent of 4½ more years.
He instead asked for the sentence to be reduced to seven years. With good behavior, Brown would have been released in less than two years after having already served three years in jail.
"The purpose of a sentence is to restore the offender to useful citizenship," Dalton said. "And (Brown) can be restored to useful citizenship if he simply stops making the decisions that led him here."
Assistant State's Attorney Audrey Anderson reminded Fawell that she originally sought a 23-year sentence and would not support any further decrease.
"This defendant had the benefits of a good family and good schools but he never took advantage of any of it," she said. "He has never contributed to society."
Brown's client, 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-year sentence.