Downers Grove man pleads guilty to supplying drug that killed teen

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 11/5/2018 3:13 PM
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  • Francis Emanuele

    Francis Emanuele

A 38-year-old Downers Grove man has admitted to supplying a fatal dose of methadone to a 15-year-old foreign exchange student from Spain.

Francis Emanuele of the 6000 block of Carpenter Street was charged in October 2016 with the drug-induced homicide of the teen who was attending Glenbard South High School. He also was charged with manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, aggravated criminal sex abuse of a child, grooming and three counts of possessing child pornography in the same case.

On Monday, DuPage County prosecutors announced that Emanuele entered a guilty plea to one felony count of drug-induced homicide and one felony count of indecent solicitation of a child.

"I would first like to extend my sincerest condolences to this young victim's family and friends as they continue their struggle to come to terms with this tragic, senseless loss of such a young, promising life," State's Attorney Robert Berlin said in a statement. "Perhaps Mr. Emanuele's guilty plea will help them in the healing process and provide some measure of closure."

On May 3, 2016, the victim told her host parents in Glen Ellyn that she felt too ill to attend school and returned to her bedroom. About 6:40 p.m. that day, she was found unresponsive and not breathing in her bed.

The girl's host parents immediately called Glen Ellyn police who led the investigation into her death.

Authorities said police searching the girl's bedroom found an oral syringe with a small amount of a clear liquid and a prescription bottle with a small amount of clear liquid that later was determined to be methadone.

Prosecutors said half the label of the prescription bottle had been removed and the missing part later was found in Emanuele's car. Emanuele had a valid prescription for the drug.

Authorities say Emanuele not only supplied the girl with the drug but also taught her how to ingest it.

The girl apparently met Emanuele because she was friends with another foreign exchange student who was living with Emanuele and his family.

Emanuele faces a penalty of between eight to 35 years in prison, officials said.

His next court date is scheduled for Dec. 17.

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