ROCKFORD - A man faces homicide charges for the overdose death of a Rockford woman. Investigators say he sold her the drugs that ultimately killed her.
The body of 33-year old Jessica L. Spiller was found dead in a backyard in the 1300 block of 15th Avenue last July. At the time, it was ruled to be a drug overdose. But, now, prosecutors are calling it murder. 44-year old Willie J. Walton is served with a five count bill of indictment while already behind bars. Officials say that during their investigation, it was determined that Walton supplied the drugs that led to Spillers’ death.
"Ms. Spiller died of a drug overdose," said Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato. "A toxicology test found both cocaine and fentanyl in her system."
The five charges include two counts of drug induced homicide, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance and one count of concealment of a homicidal death. Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz says he now sees other street drugs are being mixed with fentanyl, increasing the number of opioid-related overdoses.
"Now, [that] this fontanel is being mixed," said Hintz. "The percentage [of deaths] is jumping leaps and bounds."
Hintz adds users might not even know that what they're taking, might be laced.
"It's not necessarily that people realize that they're getting it," said Hintz. "It's being mixed and they don't know that they're ingesting it in."
Hintz says fentanyl can be 75 times stronger than morphine. Because of that strength, even a small amount can lead to death. "Obviously, respiratory. It slows the heart rate down, and basically it will kill you. It does kill you, you don't even realize what's happening."
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