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Court upholds Summit woman’s 9-year sentence for drug-induced homicide

Jennifer Nere | DuPage County state's attorney's office

The DuPage County state’s attorney’s office announced Monday that an appellate court upheld the 9-year-sentence handed down to a Summit woman who sold a fatal dose of heroin to another woman in 2014.

In the late hours of June 27, 2012, Jennifer Nere, 34, formerly of the 7400 block of 64th Street in Summit, went to the home of her friend, Augustina Taylor of Wheaton, and delivered heroin, prosecutors said. After Nere left, Taylor went into a bathroom and ingested the fatal dose of heroin. A short time later, Taylor’s son found her dead on the bathroom floor.

Nere was found guilty in August of 2014 of drug-induced homicide, according to the DuPage County state’s attorney’s office. She was sentenced to nine years in prison in October of 2014.

In her appeal, Nere argued that the trial court mistakenly gave several improper jury instructions, and refused other instructions, prosecutors said. She also argued that she was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The court disagreed, noting in their opinion that Nere’s argument “lacks any legal basis” with regards to jury instructions, prosecutors said. The court also said she “forfeited her claim by relying on a summary assertion without citing pertinent authority.”

In reference to Nere’s claim that she was not proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the court noted 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,” prosecutors said.

“We proved in court, and the Appellate Court agrees, that Jennifer Nere supplied that fatal dose of heroin to Augustana Taylor,” DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin said in a statement. “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 all find yourself facing a significant amount of time behind bars.”