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Chicago man gets seven years in prison for drug-overdose death of man he met in rehab

Christopher Paulus’s guilty plea and sentence came after Joshua Bloomfield’s mother persuaded the Chicago police to investigate her son’s death as a drug-induced homicide.

Christopher Paulus.
Christopher Paulus sold Joshua Bloomfield the drugs he overdosed on.
Cook County Sheriff’s Office

A 33-year-old Chicago man was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison in connection with the death of a man he met in drug rehabilitation and sold a fatal dose of narcotics.

Christopher Paulus pleaded guilty to a charge of drug-induced homicide.

Joshua Bloomfield, 29, died in his Edgewater apartment of toxicity from alcohol and a cocktail of drugs including heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and clonazepam, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Bloomfield planned to buy heroin from Paulus the day before he died, according to Cook County prosecutors.

They said cellphone records showed Paulus went to Bloomfield’s home on the night of May 27, 2019, and stayed there until 3:30 a.m. the next day.

Afterward, Bloomfield texted Paulus he thought he’d paid too much for the drugs Paulus sold him, according to prosecutors, and Paulus told Bloomfield it was the correct amount and that he’d given him the proper change.

Joshua Bloomfield and his mother Sylvia Schafer.
Joshua Bloomfield and his mother Sylvia Schafer.
Provided

Bloomfield’s husband, who had been out of town, returned that day and found him dead on the bathroom floor. A syringe was in the sink, prosecutors said.

At Paulus’s sentencing, Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas told him he has a chance to change his life and encouraged him to take advantage of drug rehabilitation services in prison.

Paulus’s lawyer previously told the judge that his client never would have intentionally sold Bloomfield a fatal dose.

Bloomfield’s mother Sylvia Schafer had persuaded the Chicago Police Department to investigate her son’s death as a homicide after the Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled his death an accident. Schafer declined to comment on Paulus’s sentencing.

“Drug dealers are handing out a systematic execution when soliciting these illicit drugs,” said Theresa Almanza, a retired Chicago police officer whose 18-year-old stepdaughter Sydney Schergen died of an overdose in 2015.

Retired Chicago police Officer Theresa Almanza , with her husband John Schergen, successfully pushed for the police to further investigate the drug-induced death of her 18-year-old stepdaughter Sydney Schergen in 2015. She praised the police and prosecutors in a similar case “for prosecuting Christopher Paulus for the homicide of Joshua Bloomfield.”
Retired Chicago police Officer Theresa Almanza , with her husband John Schergen, successfully pushed for the police to further investigate the drug-induced death of her 18-year-old stepdaughter Sydney Schergen in 2015. She praised the police and prosecutors in a similar case “for prosecuting Christopher Paulus for the homicide of Joshua Bloomfield.”
Provided

In that case, Brent Tyssen of Midlothian was sentenced in 2018 to six years in prison for drug-induced homicide after Almanza pushed for the police — who initially had closed their investigation without seeking criminal charges — to look more deeply into Schergen’s drug-induced death.

“We will not sit idle as record numbers of children are being poisoned,” Almanza said. “We are thankful to the Chicago Police Department and Cook County state’s attorney’s office for prosecuting Christopher Paulus for the homicide of Joshua Bloomfield.”