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My 19 year old step daughter attended a party in Illinois. One kid slipped a pill in her drink which caused her to have a heart attack and die. After watching this play out, this boy didn't even bother to seek any medical aid for her, such as calling 911 or alerting that she would need help. He just left her all alone to die. What charges could he face in the event the police find him and file charges?

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    So there are a few questions that need to be answered. Do you know what the pill contained? Was it medication? Prescription or Over the Counter? Illicit? Tide Pods? You don't have to answer, but the distinction could influence the charges. The next question is harder, but motive may move the charges. This more comes into play at a possible sentancing, but with death it becomes a bit more difficult. It might also presume some other charges. – hszmv May 30 '18 at 18:31
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    I am sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how something like this must feel. I would highly recommend contacting a local lawyer rather than asking online—they will be able to give you definite answers; and some offer a free first consultation. – Infiltrator May 31 '18 at 1:04
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    How do you know the details? Are there witnesses willing and able to testify? Can they reliably identify the perpetrator? Can they verify that she didn't consent or know about the pill? There's lots of other variables depending on things like intent and liability too, which they will need to take into account. Consulting a lawyer should be your first action. – Luaan May 31 '18 at 10:13
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We're missing a lot of facts that would help drive the analysis. The first question I'd ask was whether this was part of an actual or attempted sex offense. If that's the case, the suspect could be facing particularly serious charges.

Other information is also missing, such as the drug involved, whether it's on the list of controlled substances, her knowledge of the drug, her relationship to the suspect, and so on.

Still, based on the information we've got and the inferences we can make from them, I could reasonably see the following charges being filed:

Sec. 12-3. Battery.

(a) A person commits battery if he or she knowingly without legal justification by any means (1) causes bodily harm to an individual

Sec. 12-3.05. Aggravated battery.

(g) Offense based on certain conduct. A person commits aggravated battery when, other than by discharge of a firearm, he or she does any of the following: (1) Violates Section 401 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act by unlawfully delivering a controlled substance to another and any user experiences great bodily harm or permanent disability as a result of the injection, inhalation, or ingestion of any amount of the controlled substance. (2) Knowingly administers to an individual or causes him or her to take, without his or her consent or by threat or deception, and for other than medical purposes, any intoxicating, poisonous, stupefying, narcotic, anesthetic, or controlled substance, or gives to another person any food containing any substance or object intended to cause physical injury if eaten.

Sec. 12-4.5. Tampering with food, drugs or cosmetics.

(a) A person who knowingly puts any substance capable of causing death or great bodily harm to a human being into any food, drug or cosmetic offered for sale or consumption commits tampering with food, drugs or cosmetics.

Sec. 12-5. Reckless conduct.

(a) A person commits reckless conduct when he or she, by any means lawful or unlawful, recklessly performs an act or acts that: (1) cause bodily harm to or endanger the safety of another person; or (2) cause great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement to another person.

Sec. 21-1. Criminal damage to property.

(a) A person commits criminal damage to property when he or she: (1) knowingly damages any property of another

Sec. 11-1.20. Criminal sexual assault.

(a) A person commits criminal sexual assault if that person commits an act of sexual penetration and: (2) knows that the victim is unable to understand the nature of the act or is unable to give knowing consent;

Sec. 11-1.30. Aggravated Criminal Sexual Assault.

(a) A person commits aggravated criminal sexual assault if that person commits criminal sexual assault and any of the following aggravating circumstances exist during the commission of the offense or, for purposes of paragraph (7), occur as part of the same course of conduct as the commission of the offense: (2) the person causes bodily harm to the victim, except as provided in paragraph (10); (3) the person acts in a manner that threatens or endangers the life of the victim or any other person; (4) the person commits the criminal sexual assault during the course of committing or attempting to commit any other felony; (7) the person delivers (by injection, inhalation, ingestion, transfer of possession, or any other means) any controlled substance to the victim without the victim's consent or by threat or deception for other than medical purposes;

Sec. 11-1.50. Criminal sexual abuse.

(a) A person commits criminal sexual abuse if that person: (2) commits an act of sexual conduct and knows that the victim is unable to understand the nature of the act or is unable to give knowing consent.

Sec. 11-1.60. Aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

(a) A person commits aggravated criminal sexual abuse if that person commits criminal sexual abuse and any of the following aggravating circumstances exist (i) during the commission of the offense or (ii) for purposes of paragraph (7), as part of the same course of conduct as the commission of the offense: (2) the person causes bodily harm to the victim; (5) the person acts in a manner that threatens or endangers the life of the victim or any other person; (6) the person commits the criminal sexual abuse during the course of committing or attempting to commit any other felony; or (7) the person delivers (by injection, inhalation, ingestion, transfer of possession, or any other means) any controlled substance to the victim for other than medical purposes without the victim's consent or by threat or deception.

Sec. 9-1. First degree Murder

(a) A person who kills an individual without lawful justification commits first degree murder if, in performing the acts which cause the death: (2) he knows that such acts create a strong probability of death or great bodily harm to that individual or another; or (3) he is attempting or committing a forcible felony other than second degree murder.

Sec. 9-3. Involuntary Manslaughter and Reckless Homicide.

(a) A person who unintentionally kills an individual without lawful justification commits involuntary manslaughter if his acts whether lawful or unlawful which cause the death are such as are likely to cause death or great bodily harm to some individual, and he performs them recklessly

Sec. 9-3.3. Drug-induced homicide.

(a) A person commits drug-induced homicide when he or she violates Section 401 of the Illinois Controlled Substances Act or Section 55 of the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act by unlawfully delivering a controlled substance to another, and any person's death is caused by the injection, inhalation, absorption, or ingestion of any amount of that controlled substance.

Sec. 9-3.4. Concealment of homicidal death.

(a) A person commits the offense of concealment of homicidal death when he or she knowingly conceals the death of any other person with knowledge that such other person has died by homicidal means.

Sec. 9-3.5. Concealment of death.

(b) A person commits the offense of concealment of death when he or she knowingly conceals the death of any other person who died by other than homicidal means.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – feetwet Jun 1 '18 at 23:22
  • Where does "Sec. 21-1. Criminal damage to property" come into play? – Dan Henderson Oct 1 '18 at 17:19
  • Beverage = property; poisoning = damage. – bdb484 Oct 1 '18 at 20:23
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While I believe @bdb484 did an excellent list of potential charges, it should be noted that they will not all be charged depending on the circumstances.

Assuming that the victim unknowingly ingested the contents of the pill, the nature of the substance in the pill could determine a host of different charges. For example, if the pill was over the counter medication that had a reaction with a pre-existing condition or an adverse reaction with other substances (alcohol reacts with a lot of medications in bad ways) this could be reckless homicide or manslaughter and reckless conduct. If it is illicit, then we get into some murder charges.

Additionally, some of these charges are what would be called "Lesser included Charges". For example, since all instances of Aggavated Battery are instances of Battery, than the charge of Aggravated Battery will be used and the the charge of Battery would be considered a lesser included charge. The Concealment of Death will not be charged with any homicide charges (Manslaughter, Murder 2, Murder 1).

While you did not mention the intentions of the accused's actions in slipping the pill to the victim, if they were sexual, a charge of Felony Murder might be put in place of Murder in the First Degree. Felony Murder occurs when a victim dies in the commission of a felony crime by any means and regardless of intent of the accused. If the ingested substance(s) played no role in the fatal heart attack but were part of any crime such as tampering, or sexual assault charges, murder can still be charged. Incidental Death of a victim during the commission of a crime will likely be First Degree as the crime was per-meditated even if the death was not part of that planning.

As @Infiltrator pointed out, I would reach out to the Prosecutor's office in the district where your daughter's case is being handled and ask to discuss the issue. Please note, that depending on where the investigation into the case is currently, the Prosecutor may not wish to discuss the matter at the moment, but they will likely be in contact with you eventually. I would also reach out to local politicians, including local government, the state level representation in the area and possibly the federal level. The Representative for the district is easier to contact than the Senator, but any of the three options are perfectly respectable. You especially want to do this if the prosecution's office is stonewalling you or refusing to answer your questions as these people are likely to individuals in the organization that can clarify and have some clout to push around (Illinois Politics has a reputation for its... familiarity to insiders...). This can be especially helpful if the accused is politically connected (that's the downside of the Illinois politics... this happens...).

Also note that in the United States, a good chunk (90%+ of all criminal cases) are plead out or dropped depending on evidence that is allowed in pretrial motions, though you should know what the charges are before this happens.

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    As a note though, if the case is plead out it may still mean a long stay behind bars, especially if the charges brought include First Degree Murder. There is no death penalty in Illinois, but if the case goes to trial as such the defendant faces life imprisonment, which could be used as clout to get a longer plea sentence. Also +1 for advice to reach out to the prosecutor's office and the steps to escalate to state and/or federal congressional representatives if needed. – kleineg May 31 '18 at 15:41
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    Thank you all for your input. However insensitive it may seem at this moment I thank you all for your suggestions – Chelle Jun 2 '18 at 22:17
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    @Chelle It's not so much insensitive as it is 'matter-of-fact'. Stackexchange sites are mainly just here to answer questions. If you're just looking for facts and/or answers then this is the right place, but if you want comfort or emotional support then I'm sorry to say that this probably isn't the right place to look. – Pharap Jun 3 '18 at 14:39
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    I'm not sure this is an accurate statement of felony murder for Illinois. – bdb484 Jun 4 '18 at 14:53
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    @Chelle: I am sorry for your loss, and I apologize for not making that clear. I apologize for harm from the clinical nature of my descriptions that you felt. Especially in law, I do tend to approach it from a logical standpoint, not an emotional one. – hszmv Jun 4 '18 at 15:17

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