Thursday, April 5, 2012
Trevonn Lionel French, 36, Fulton, has been sentenced to more than 22 years in federal prison without parole for distributing heroin that resulted in the Jan. 9, 2011, death of Summer Bond, 28, Fulton.
French was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey at U.S. Western District Court in Jefferson City to 274 months in federal prison without the possibility of parole.
French received close to the minimum sentence after reaching a plea bargain agreement with federal authorities.
Under federal law, a conviction for distribution of heroin resulting in death carries a penalty of a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole or up to life in federal prison without parole.
French and his attorney entered into a plea agreement with U. S. Attorney Beth Phillips. In the agreement, French admitted that he distributed heroin to Bond that resulted in her death and that he also distributed heroin to her brother, Cody Smith, who also overdosed but did not die.
While at French’s residence, Smith injected the heroin and overdosed.
French took Smith to the hospital. French admitted in the plea bargain agreement that he provided Bond with the syringe containing what was left of the heroin that caused Smith’s overdose, along with an additional amount of heroin, to settle a $25 debt that he owed Bond from a previous narcotics transaction.
The plea agreement states French’s girlfriend, Rachel Hoteling, had earlier overdosed on the same heroin that Smith had used but was revived by friends.
The plea bargain entered into with federal prosecutors notes that because of his cooperation with law enforcement and prosecutors, French qualifies for a lower range penalty but not less than 20 years without parole.
When Judge Laughrey imposed the sentence, the plea agreement did not have to be observed. The plea agreement is only a recommendation by the prosecution, not an agreement with the judge on the sentence to be imposed.
In the plea agreement, French agreed that on Jan. 9, 2011, he distributed heroin to Bond that resulted in her death at 8615 County Road 427, Fulton.
Smith, who is Bond’s brother, told law enforcement officers that on Jan. 9, 2011, he purchased a $60 heroin “nugget” from French at the defendant’s residence in Fulton. While at the residence in Fulton, Smith injected the heroin and overdosed.
The plea agreement states Smith estimated that he had been buying “crack” and heroin from French for five months and that Smith’s sister (Bond) had been buying heroin from French for the last two years.
French’s girlfriend also told law enforcement officers that she had been given the same heroin that Bond and Smith received and she also overdosed. She had stopped breathing and was revived by friends.
The day after Bond’s body was discovered, a cooperating witness called French. During the call, French admitted he knew the heroin was potent because his girlfriend had overdosed on it two days earlier.
On Jan. 13, 2011, the cooperating witness spoke to French again and French said he had more heroin available. French was arrested that day when he met the witness at his residence and sold the heroin.
Friday’s sentencing hearing involving French was scheduled after completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office. The investigation was authorized to start almost one year ago.
The plea bargain agreement was reached early last year and French pleaded guilty in federal court in Jefferson City on May 6, 2011.
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