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Monday, July 3, 2017
Appellate Court Affirms Drug Induced Homicide Conviction
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced today that the Second District Appellate Court has affirmed the Drug Induced Homicide conviction of Jennifer Nere, 37 (d.o.b. 12/12/1979) formerly of Summit, for her role in the 2014 drug induced homicide of thirty-one-year-old Augustina Taylor of Wheaton. On August 4, 2014, after a four-day-long trial, a jury found Nere guilty of one count of Drug Induced Homicide, a Class X Felony, for supplying what proved to be a fatal dose of heroin to Taylor. On October 15, 2014, Nere was sentenced to nine years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
At some point during the late-night hours of June 27, through the early-morning hours of June 28, 2012, Nere went to Taylor’s house and, at Taylor’s request, delivered heroin to Taylor. Nere then left the premises. After receiving the heroin, Taylor went into a bathroom and ingested the heroin. A short while later, Taylor’s son found his mother deceased on the floor of the bathroom. An investigation into the death confirmed that Taylor died of a heroin overdose.
In her appeal, Nere argued that the trial court erred in giving several improper jury instructions while refusing other instructions. Nere also argued that she was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The Appellate Court however disagreed, stating in their opinion regarding jury instructions that “her argument lacks any legal basis” and that Nere “forfeited her claim by relying on a summary assertion without citing pertinent authority.” Regarding Nere’s claim that she was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the Appellate Court stated “that Taylor’s request for heroin on the day of her death meant that she was out of heroin at the time” and that “the jury’s verdict was supported by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”
“I would like to thank the Appellate Court for their extremely thoughtful and in-depth review of this case,” Berlin said. “Slightly more than five years ago, Augustina Taylor died from a heroin overdose. We proved in court, and the Appellate Court agrees, that Jennifer Nere supplied that fatal dose of heroin to Augustina Taylor. The judgement of the Appellate Court emphasizes the fact that if you supply a fatal dose of any drug you will be held responsible and will find yourself facing a significant amount of time behind bars. I would like to thank the Office’s Appellate Division, particularly Assistant State’s Attorneys Lisa Hoffman and Sean Kinsella for their work in holding Jennifer Nere responsible for the overdose death of Augustina Taylor.”
Justice McLaren delivered the judgment of the Court with Justices Zenoff and Schostok concurring.