28-year prison term for man who sold heroin to woman who overdosed

A Zion man was sentenced to 28 years in prison Friday for selling the heroin that killed a 21-year-old woman in 2015 — but in court he sought to cast blame on the woman's boyfriend instead.James Linder, 36, was convicted last month of drug-induced homicide...

28-year prison term for man who sold heroin to woman who overdosed

A Zion man was sentenced to 28 years in prison Friday for selling the heroin that killed a 21-year-old woman in 2015 — but in court he sought to cast blame on the woman's boyfriend instead.

James Linder, 36, was convicted last month of drug-induced homicide in the overdose death of Danielle Barzyk of Algonquin.

His lawyer, Henry Sugden, had sought a change of venue, arguing that Linder couldn't receive a trial by his peers because of the low number of fellow African-Americans in McHenry County. Linder got an all-white jury, which reached its guilty verdict in less than two hours.

Jurors found that Linder sold the lethal dose of heroin to Barzyk's boyfriend, Cody Hillier, on Jan. 30, 2015. Barzyk, a Dundee Crown High School graduate, fatally overdosed the next day.

Linder apologized to Barzyk's father, who sat quietly in the Woodstock courtroom.

But Linder also said that although he "contributed to the young lady's death ... I didn't kill her. I participated (in her death), but her boyfriend killed her and got probation."

Like Barzyk and Hillier, Linder said he has struggled with drug addiction, in his case to crack cocaine.

Prosecutors, however, described Linder as having "an extreme criminal history" and said he's been convicted of crimes and sent to prison six times in the past 20 years. He was on parole for a Lake County conviction when he sold the drugs that killed Barzyk.

Zion man guilty of drug-induced homicide in woman's heroin overdose Amanda Marrazzo

A McHenry County jury swiftly convicted a Zion man Friday who authorities said sold the heroin taken by a young woman who died of an apparent overdose.

The guilty verdict of drug-induced homicide against James Linder in the 2015 death of Danielle Barzyk, of Algonquin, was announced a little more...

A McHenry County jury swiftly convicted a Zion man Friday who authorities said sold the heroin taken by a young woman who died of an apparent overdose.

The guilty verdict of drug-induced homicide against James Linder in the 2015 death of Danielle Barzyk, of Algonquin, was announced a little more...

(Amanda Marrazzo)

Hillier, 25, testified at Linder's trial that after he purchased the heroin from Linder, Hillier and Barzyk ingested the drug together throughout the day.

At about 1:30 the next morning, Hillier said, Barzyk was in physical distress, so he took her to the Algonquin police station for help.

Hillier first told police and paramedics that Barzyk was having an asthma attack. And while Barzyk did suffer from asthma, and had used her inhaler several times in the preceding hours, responders said they lost crucial time by Hillier's initial denial that Barzyk had taken heroin.

Eventually, Barzyk was given naloxone, which can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, but by then it was too late, officials said.

Hillier also was charged in connection with Barzyk's death and last July received two years of probation for delivery of a controlled substance. In October, he violated his probation by using drugs and was in the custody of McHenry County Jail during Linder's trial, later saying he relapsed while feeling pressure over having to testify against Linder.

All-white jury seated for black man who said he couldn't get fair trial Amanda Marrazzo

An all-white jury will decide the case of a black man who argued that he couldn't get a fair trial in McHenry County because of its relatively small black population.

Jury selection was completed and opening statements began Tuesday for James Linder, who is charged with drug-induced homicide in...

An all-white jury will decide the case of a black man who argued that he couldn't get a fair trial in McHenry County because of its relatively small black population.

Jury selection was completed and opening statements began Tuesday for James Linder, who is charged with drug-induced homicide in...

(Amanda Marrazzo)

Hillier was later resentenced to three years in prison but was given credit for time served and has since been released, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections website.

At Linder's sentencing Friday, Assistant State's Attorney Randi Freese spoke of the "epidemic" of heroin in the community and said the drug "took a complete hold on Danielle ... and it never let go."

"We've seen what it does to families," Freese said. "We saw what happened in this case. ... She was a beautiful, beautiful girl with her entire life ahead of her."

Freese said the young woman had "great parents" who were "very involved" and tried to help.

"(Her parents) did everything they could, and heroin still won," she said.

Freese asked for a sentence of more than 30 years for Linder, saying he "chose to make a living ... destroying other people's lives."

Barzyk's father, Mark, gave an impact statement in court Friday, saying most people do not "understand the power" of heroin.

"It makes you do things you normally wouldn't do," Barzyk said. "In a matter of three years, we saw our daughter (who was) so great (turn into) someone unrecognizable."

He said addicts need to receive help and dealers need to be taken "off the street."

He spoke of his family's struggles to cope since his daughter's death and of how he cries on his commute to work and asks himself "how I managed to fail the most important job."

He said he does not dislike Linder personally but has a "dislike of what he does for a living."

McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski testified that between 2012 and 2016, her office has seen an increasing number of overdoes deaths, saying it has overtaken car accidents as the No. 1 killer of young people in the county.

"It is a tragedy for our youth and all of our citizens," she said.

In asking for a lesser sentence, Sugden, Linder's lawyer, said his client was being treated more harshly because of his race. Sugden called Linder a "small-time" drug dealer who committed his first crime at the age of 16, after which his delinquency "snowballed."

Judge Sharon Prather agreed the county is "suffering an epidemic" and that Linder isn't responsible for that. But she called Linder's criminal record "horrendous" and said that, when he wasn't in prison, he continued to "spread poison" and commit crimes.

She said while one might want to change his ways, Linder "lacks the ability to conform his lifestyle to the norms of society."

Amanda Marrazzo is a freelance reporter.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

Yorum yapabilmek için üye girişi yapmanız gerekmektedir.

Üye değilseniz hemen üye olun veya giriş yapın.

NEXT NEWS