The Second District Appellate Court has affirmed the drug-induced homicide conviction of Jennifer Nere, 37, formerly of Summit, for her role in the 2012 drug-induced homicide of Augustina Taylor, 31, of Wheaton, according to a DuPage County State's Attorney's Office news release.
On Aug. 4, 2014, a jury found Nere guilty of one felony count of drug-induced homicide for supplying what proved to be a fatal dose of heroin to Taylor, the release stated. In October 2014, Nere was sentenced to nine years in prison.
At some point during the late night hours of June 27, 2012, through the early morning hours of June 28, 2012, Nere went to Taylor’s house and, at Taylor’s request, delivered heroin to Taylor, according to the release. Nere then left the premises.
After receiving the heroin, Taylor went into a bathroom and ingested it. A short while later, Taylor’s son found his mother dead on the floor of the bathroom, the release stated. An investigation into the death confirmed Taylor died of a heroin overdose.
In her appeal, Nere argued the trial court erred in giving several improper jury instructions while refusing other instructions, according to the release. Nere also argued she was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Appellate Court disagreed, stating in its opinion regarding jury instructions that “her argument lacks any legal basis” and 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 “the jury’s verdict was supported by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”