By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU — A 47-year-old man was sentenced Monday to 5 1/2 years in prison for providing a lethal dose of heroin to a woman who overdosed and died in September 2018 in Wausau.
Jermal Hill, of Wausau, was convicted in December of two counts of manufacturing or delivering heroin and one count of obstructing an officer, charges that were reduced from first-degree reckless homicide, as part of a plea agreement. During the hour-long hearing Monday, Circuit Judge Greg Strasser sentenced Hill to five years on the drug charges with an additional six months for obstruction.
The charges against Hill stem from the Sept. 11, 2018 overdose death of a 53-year-old Wausau woman whose body was discovered at a residence in the 700 block of Jefferson Street.
Shortly after the woman’s body was discovered, police said publicly that witness reports and evidence at the scene indicated that drugs may have contributed to the woman’s death. Autopsy results, which showed a combination of codeine, morphine, 6-Monoacetyl morphine, diphenhydramine and citalopram in the woman’s system, confirmed those suspicions, according to court documents. Morphine and 6-Monoacetyl morphine are known byproducts of heroin, and diphenhydramine is often used as a heroin cutting agent, police said.
A packet of heroin was also found tucked inside the deceased woman’s bra, according to the police report.
Police interviewed HIll shortly after the woman’s death based on witness information. Initially, Hill claimed he purchase heroin from the woman and was not a dealer, but investigators determined that was not the case.
At sentencing, Strasser also ordered Hill to spend four years on extended supervision following his eventual release from prison. Hill was granted 524 days credit for time spent behind bars awaiting trial.