An appeals court has affirmed the drug-induced homicide conviction of a Summit woman who was found guilty of supplying drugs that led to the 2012 fatal overdose of a Wheaton woman who had just been released from prison.
In an opinion published late last week, a 2nd Illinois Appellate District panel rejected an appeal filed by Jennifer Nere, who was found guilty of drug-induced homicide by a DuPage County jury in 2014.
Nere, 37, is serving a nine-year sentence and is scheduled to be paroled in 2020 for her role in the death of Augustina Taylor, 31, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Following her conviction, Nere appealed, saying that the trial court failed to give jurors correct instructions on how they should apply the law in her case. Nere also said she had not been proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
But, in a 49-page opinion published Thursday, the three-judge panel that considered the appeal rejected all of Nere’s arguments.
DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin on Monday said the ruling was thoughtful and in-depth.
“The judgment 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,” Berlin said.
At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Nere had given Taylor heroin and cocaine late on June 28, 2012, while Taylor was at her mother’s apartment in Wheaton. She allegedly took the drugs and was found unconscious inside a locked bathroom at the apartment. When family members discovered her, they called paramedics, but Taylor was pronounced dead from an overdose.
Taylor, who had five children, had been released from prison June 26, 2012, on a drug-related conviction.
Clifford Ward is a freelance reporter.