News and Press Releases

fulton man pleads guilty to distributing heroin that resulted in death of fulton woman, faces at least 20 years in prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Fulton, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to distributing heroin, which resulted in the death of 28-year-old Summer Bond, also of Fulton.

Trevonn Lionel French, 36, of Fulton, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey to the charge contained in a Feb. 10, 2011, federal indictment.

By pleading guilty today, French admitted that he distributed heroin in January 2011 that resulted in three individuals overdosing, one of which was fatal.

French admitted that he distributed heroin to Bond on Jan. 9, 2011, and that Bond died as a result of the use of that heroin. Medical and law enforcement personnel were dispatched to Bond’s residence on that day and confirmed that she was deceased. Bond’s body was discovered by her mother, along with evidence of heroin use. The cause of death was later determined to be acute heroin toxicity.

According to the plea agreement, Bond’s brother, Cody Smith, had also overdosed on heroin. Smith, who was recovering at University Hospital in Columbia, Mo., told law enforcement officers that he had purchased a $60 heroin nugget from French earlier on the same day that his sister died from the overdose. Smith also said that Bond had been buying heroin from French for the past two years.

While at French’s residence, Smith injected the heroin and overdosed; French took him to the hospital. French admitted 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.

French’s girlfriend also told law enforcement officers that she had been given the same heroin that Bond and Smith received, and that 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 and, during the call, French admitted he knew the heroin was potent because his girlfriend had overdosed on it a couple of 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, after he met the witness at his residence and sold the heroin.

Under federal statutes, French is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony P. Gonzalez and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven R. Berry. It was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Fulton, Mo., Police Department, the Callaway County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Boone County, Mo., Medical Examiner’s Office.

Plea Agreement document

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