A Troy man avoided a potential 30-year prison sentence in May when he was acquitted of the drug-induced homicide of his 17-year-old girlfriend. Now Taylor Kennedy is back in jail facing three felony charges that could bring up to 17 years in prison.
Kennedy, 21, of 105 W. Clay, and co-defendant Jeremy B. Terry, 17, of 204 Emery St. in Collinsville, were charged Thursday with possessing a stolen ATV, attempted burglary and theft, court documents state. Kennedy was being held on $100,000 bail and Terry on $50,000 bail in the Madison County Jail.
James Drazen, Kennedy's attorney, declined to comment. A person who answered the phone at Terry's home declined to comment.
The pair are accused of possessing a stolen 2009 Kawasaki Mule, attempting to break into a 2008 Ford Escape owned by Valerie Keck and stealing a 2007 Nationwide flatbed trailer from Nelson Tree Service, court documents state. The allegations stem from incidents that occurred Wednesday.
Neither Madison County State's Attorney spokesman Stephanee Smith nor Metro-East Auto Theft Task Force Director Gary Brewer, whose agency investigated the case, knew whether the crimes were related to drugs.
Kennedy had been charged with providing the heroin that Shannon Gaddis overdosed on Jan. 11, 2011, in her Troy home. Madison County Associate Judge James Hackett freed Kennedy on May 10 after the judge ruled in favor of a defense motion that argued Illinois' drug-induced homicide law did not apply in this case because the heroin allegedly was transferred in Missouri, and not Illinois, as required by the law.
The ruling led to the dismissal of drug-induced homicide charges in two other Madison County overdose deaths in which the same factors applied.
State's Attorney Tom Gibbons pushed for a change in the law to allow prosecutors to charge suspects with drug-induced homicide even in cases where the transfer of drugs to the overdose victim occurred outside Illinois. The law passed the Illinois Senate but has not made it out of the House.
Contact reporter Kevin Bersett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2535. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/KevinBersett