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Three charged with drug-induced homicide in Madison County

Posted on in Chicago criminal defense lawyer

LaraAccording to an article published by, two more cases of drug-induced homicide have arisen in Madison County.

Tony Sellers was found dead outside the home of Robert J. Kirchner back in June.  According to autopsy results, his death was due to a heroin overdose.

Kirchner, 40, is allegedly accused of buying heroin down in St. Louis and proceeding to deliver it to Sellers.  According to Madison County police, Kirchner and three others then took Sellers’ body out of the house and left it in the back yard so as to disguise the cause of his death.

While Kirchner was charged with a felony of Class X drug-induced homicide, he also faces charges of multiple drug offenses and concealment of a homicidal death.  The three other people who were involved and also charged were his wife, Vindi Kirchner, Janet Denson, and Scott Bourbon, all of Granite City.

In a completely unrelated case, both David Deforest Jr. and Debra Nelson face charges of drug-induced homicide in the death of Dylan Hartman, 19, who died of a drug overdose back in December.

Police say that Nelson sold liquid methadone to Deforest, who then gave it to Hartman.  The two also face charges of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance; this is a Class 2 felony.

In both of these cases, the charges were not filed until toxicology reports were completed and returned.

Madison County state’s attorney, Tom Gibbons, said, “These two tragic deaths underscore the terrible cost of drug addiction and the suffering that it causes for families, friends and our whole community.  With each death, we are reminded that there is still a lot of hard work to be done to rid Madison County and our entire region of these poisons.”

In the past few years in Madison County, there have been several drug-induced homicide cases filed.  However, not all of these cases have resulted in convictions.  Of six overdoses from 2011 resulting in homicide charges in 2012, five were dismissed or settled on lesser charges.  It was ruled that the drug-induced homicide law does not apply in cases where drugs cross state boundaries.

According to Gibbons, in those cases the transfer of the drugs also took place in Missouri.  In Kirchner’s case the drugs were purchased there as well but transferred to Illinois.  Gibbons believes the laws should be changed because of the fact that many drug addicts buy their drugs in St. Louis and proceed to overdose in Illinois.

“I can’t speak for the legislature, but I know a bill was introduced on that.  It’s something we’re still pushing for,” Gibbons said.

If you or someone you know has been convicted of a drug-related crime, contact a dedicated Illinois criminal defense lawyer to help you immediately.

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