2014 election guide

Articles filed under Heroin

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  • Nine years for woman who supplied fatal dose of heroin in Wheaton Oct 15, 2014 4:55 PM
    A 34-year-old Summit woman was sentenced to nine years in prison Wednesday for supplying her friend with a fatal dose of heroin in 2012 in Wheaton. Jennifer Nere will be required to serve 75 percent of the sentence before being eligible for parole. She also will receive credit for 419 days already spent in custody, DuPage County Judge Daniel Guerin said. Nere was just the second person to be charged with, tried and convicted on drug-induced homicide charges in DuPage. A jury of 12 also convicted Nere in August of the lesser charge of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance. “This is not a typical case of homicide as we know it,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Jae Kwon. “It’s sad all the way around. This case has devastated multiple families.” Nere brought heroin to her friend, 32-year-old Wheaton resident Augustina Taylor, during the late-night hours of June 27, 2012, following a family party celebrating Taylor’s release after a year in prison. In the early morning hours of June 28, 2012, Taylor was found dead in her mother’s bathroom. Her death was ruled an overdose from a mixture of cocaine and heroin. Guerin called the interaction between Taylor and Nere that night a “deadly game of Russian roulette.” “But the focus today is not on the victim’s actions. For that she lost her life,” Guerin said. “And the defendant must pay with her freedom.” A teary-eyed Nere addressed Taylor’s family when given a chance to speak. “I’m very sorry. That was a stupid decision that I made,” Nere said. “I never want to touch drugs again. I miss my kids more than anything.” During the trial, prosecutors played a video and read a letter in which Nere admitted to bringing Taylor the “rock and blow” in an old sock she had previously used to wipe blood from one of her own track marks. Nere’s attorney, David Gaughan, sought the minimum sentence of six years. “The best hope to come from this tragedy is that Jennifer gets out and helps the next Tina or Jennifer get off drugs or keeps the next Tina or Jennifer from getting into drugs,” Gaughan said. Prosecutors said the case is yet another difficult story about the use of heroin in the county. “While we have made some progress in educating the public about the dangers of heroin use, we continue to see an alarming rate of heroin overdose deaths,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin said in a news release. “The circumstances of this case are particularly disheartening considering that the defendant and the victim were friends.”

     
  • Woman to be sentenced in Wheaton heroin overdose death Oct 14, 2014 1:45 PM
    A Summit woman found guilty of supplying her friend with a fatal dose of heroin in 2012 in Wheaton will face between six and 30 years in prison when she is sentenced Wednesday morning. DuPage County Judge Daniel Guerin, who last month denied Jennifer Nere’s attorney’s request for a new trial, will sentence Nere at 9 a.m.

     
  • DuPage County sheriff hopefuls debate heroin tactics Oct 6, 2014 10:27 AM
    The two candidates for DuPage County sheriff, Republican incumbent John Zaruba and Democratic challengerMike Quiroz, have different ideas about the sheriff's role in battling the heroin epidemic that's killed dozens in the county.

     
  • Increased purity, decreasing costs driving heroin use Sep 29, 2014 5:30 AM
    In the past two years, DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen has seen people in their 40s, 50s and even 60s dying from heroin overdoses. He believes the increase in older users is due to what he says is the nation’s new prescription drug abuse epidemic, which can lead to heroin use.

     
  • DuPage coroner: Heroin a 'challenge to our society' Sep 29, 2014 5:58 AM
    DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen has taken a lead role in the campaign against heroin in Chicago's suburbs. Here's a look at the problem, as seen through his eyes, and what he's doing to combat it. “It does not embarrass DuPage County to admit that we're like everybody else,” he said. “Not addressing it and not trying to fix the problem, that embarrasses DuPage County.”

     
  • Editorial: Tenacity in the battle against heroin in the suburbs Sep 28, 2014 5:01 AM
    This Daily Herald editorial reflects on the newspaper's Heroin in the Suburbs examination with the caution that the best way to beat an insidious heroin addiction is to never try heroin in the first place.

     
  • Heroin user still striving to 'get better eventually' Sep 28, 2014 5:54 AM
    Jon Dennison isn't over it. His addiction to heroin, which first gripped the 21-year-old when he was 17, hasn't let him go. Rather, he hasn't let go of it. “I keep wondering when it's going to stop. When the endless circle of destruction is going to stop,” he said. Dennison is one face among suburban heroin users who find themselves unable to stop once they try the drug, but he's not done fighting his addiction.

     
  • New trial denied in Wheaton heroin overdose death Sep 4, 2014 4:28 PM
    A Summit woman found guilty last month of supplying her friend with a fatal dose of heroin in 2012 in Wheaton now faces between six and 30 years in prison. DuPage County Judge Daniel Guerin Thursday denied Jennifer Nere’s attorney’s request for a new trial and scheduled Nere’s sentencing for 9 a.m. on Oct. 15.

     
  • Naperville man charged with bringing heroin into DuPage jail Aug 29, 2014 4:37 PM
    A Naperville man is behind bars charged with several heroin-related crimes, including bringing the drug into a penal institution by hiding it in his rectum. Michael Chacón, 25, of the 1200 block of Suffolk Street, recently was arrested at his home and charged with unlawful possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

     
  • Dad of teen who overdosed trains parents to use antidote Aug 8, 2014 5:25 AM
    Nick Ryan, 20, died Aug. 1 of an apparent heroin overdose in Hinsdale, but his father, a former heroin addict himself, hosted a Naloxone training session Thursday because he said it doesn't have to be that way. “A week ago today was the last time my son was alive. Coulda, woulda, shoulda,” Tim Ryan said Thursday during the training session. "I know he's in a better place."

     
  • Berlin: DuPage drug-induced homicide cases will only increase Aug 6, 2014 9:08 AM
    DuPage County States Attorney Robert Berlin and his prosecutors are now 2-0 when it comes to prosecuting the relatively new charge of drug-induced homicide. Unfortunately, Berlin said, these first two cases are likely only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to nabbing those peddling heroin in the suburbs.

     
  • Summit woman found guilty in Wheaton heroin death Aug 4, 2014 10:24 PM
    A DuPage County jury deliberated for nearly four hours before finding a Jennifer Nere of Summit guilty of supplying Augustina Taylor of Wheaton with a fatal dose of heroin in 2012. Nere is just the second person to be charged with, tried and convicted on drug-induced homicide charges in DuPage County. “(Taylor) was alive all these hours, then an hour after (Nere) shows up, she’s dead,” said Assistant State’s Attorney Jae Kwon.

     
  • Former Naperville heroin addict’s son dies from overdose Aug 5, 2014 7:13 PM
    Tim Ryan’s oldest son wanted to follow his father’s career footsteps into a job as an executive recruiter. Instead, 20-year-old Nicholas “Nick” Ryan wound up following his dad down another path, toward drug addiction. Early Friday morning, at a friend’s house in Hinsdale, Nick overdosed on heroin and died, his father said Monday.

     
  • Heroin overdose confirmed in 2012 Wheaton death Aug 1, 2014 6:53 PM
    Augustina Taylor’s death in the late night hours of June 27, 2012, was caused by a lethal combination of heroin and cocaine. Former DuPage County forensic pathologist Jeff Harkey testified Friday in the drug-induced homicide trial of the friend alleged to have given or sold the heroin to Taylor, Jennifer Nere.

     
  • Trial begins in Wheaton drug-induced homicide case Jul 31, 2014 7:10 PM
    Augustina Taylor had just more than 24 hours to celebrate her newfound freedom from prison on June 26, 2012, before she again succumbed to her drug addiction demons, authorities say. Prosecutors say it was Taylor’s first “fix” of heroin and cocaine since her release from prison that killed the 32-year-old Wheaton woman. And now the friend who brought it to her, 34-year-old Jennifer Nere, of Summit, is charged with Taylor’s murder.

     
  • DuPage’s second drug-induced homicide trial to begin Jul 30, 2014 6:46 PM
    The trial of a south suburban woman accused of supplying a fatal dose of heroin to her friend in Wheaton is set to begin Thursday afternoon. Jennifer Nere, 34, of Summit, is charged with one count of drug-induced homicide and one count of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.

     
  • Drug abuse fought in name of St. Charles man who succumbed to heroin Jul 25, 2014 7:56 AM
    The Chris Walk Night Out Against Substance Abuse will be held Saturday in memory of Chris Foley, a St. Charles man who died of a heroin overdose in July 2007 after a 10-year struggle. “The thing with addiction is you’ve got to get people talking about it. It carries a stigma,” said Vicki Foley, Chris’s mom and president of the not-for-profit group ChrisWalk. “Just come out and enjoy the evening. Come out for the fellowship. We’ll hug, share some stories and you’ll go away feeling better.”

     
  • DuPage taking fight against heroin to schools Jul 7, 2014 4:29 PM
    DuPage County Board members are expected to approve a plan to pay $67,746 to Robert Crown Centers for Health Education to offer a comprehensive heroin prevention program at local middle and high schools.

     
  • Anti-heroin ad wins award Jun 14, 2014 11:54 AM
    A television advertisement created by the Illinois State Crime Commission and Karl Productions about heroin abuse has won an award, officials announced. Heroin deaths continue to increase in the suburbs and throughout Illinois.

     
  • Wheaton parents who lost son to heroin tell families to have hope May 25, 2014 7:36 AM
    Hope, Patti and Joel Clousing say, is what they always had for their 19-year-old son Keenan — despite the seven trips to rehab, the multiple stints in jail, the three horrific overdoses and the heroin addiction that ultimately took his life on March 1. “He had so much hope for himself,” Patti said. “He tried so hard and that's the part that just hurts.” The Wheaton family hopes Keenan's story will help others battling heroin addiction.

     
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