Sentence stands for Downers Grove man who gave exchange student fatal dose of methadone

  • Francis Emanuele

    Francis Emanuele

Updated 6/12/2020 7:19 AM

The 2nd District Appellate Court has upheld a 20-year prison sentence for a man who killed a 15-year-old foreign exchange student by supplying her with methadone.

Francis Emanuele of Downers Grove gave the fatal dose to the 15-year-old girl from Spain in May 2016. He pleaded guilty in 2018 to one count of drug- induced homicide and one count of indecent solicitation of a child.


In February 2019, DuPage County Judge Liam Brennan sentenced him to 20 years on the homicide charge and four years on the solicitation, to be served consecutively.

Emanuele argued in his appeal the 20-year sentence was excessive, that Brennan did not identify even one mitigating factor, and that Brennan was improper in finding the defendant's motive for giving the girl the methadone was to have sexual intercourse with her, as opposed to engaging in sexual acts other than intercourse.

According to prosecutors, on May 3, 2016, the girl told her host parents in Glen Ellyn she did not feel well enough to attend school, and returned to her bedroom.

That evening, she was found in her bed, unresponsive. Police found an oral syringe and a prescription bottle, both containing methadone.

The medication is a narcotic analgesic, often used to alleviate withdrawal symptoms for people addicted to opioids.

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The victim had met Emanuele through another exchange student, who was staying with Emanuele and his family. The victim and Emanuele had exchanged sexual text messages, and he taught her how to ingest the methadone so she could fake being sick and spend the day with him.

Emanuele could have been sentenced to a total of eight to 35 years in prison.

Emanuele has to serve at least 75% of his 20-year sentence, and 50% of his four-year sentence, before he is eligible for parole.

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