A Michigan man has been found guilty of supplying a fatal dose of fentanyl to a retired judge’s daughter – and now reportedly faces up to life in prison.
Javontae Quintez White, 33, of Grand Rapids, was found guilty Thursday of one count of distributing fentanyl resulting in death following a three-day trial in US District Court in Kalamazoo, MLive.com reported.
White was found guilty in the July 2018 death of 33-year-old Elaine Christensen, the late daughter of retired Grand Rapids District Judge Michael Christensen and his wife Nancy, the outlet reported.
“Elaine made awful choices that were criminal,” US Attorney Austin Hakes said during closing arguments Thursday. “She chose to order heroin with her boyfriend and she died facedown inches from her cellphone because the fentanyl killed her so quickly she was unable to call for help.”
An autopsy found that Christensen — also known as Elaine Mamagona — died of acute fentanyl, ethanol and methamphetamine toxicity, MLive.com reported in March 2019.
Christensen’s boyfriend, Ryan Hall, testified during the trial that the pair had been up for nearly three days on drug bender when they reached out to a middle-man, Mark Blodgett, to get heroin.
Blodgett then got the heroin from White and sold it to Christensen. Hall and Christensen proceed to snort what they thought was heroin and the woman’s boyfriend found her unresponsive in her Grand Rapids apartment the following day, MLive.com previously reported.
Both Blodgett and Hall were later reportedly found guilty of drug charges in connection to the fatal incident.
“Mr. White chose to sell a drug to make money,” Hakes said Thursday. “There must be an accounting for a human life.”
White, who had previous drug convictions, is expected to be sentenced in late April to life in prison, MLive.com reported.
Fentanyl, a highly addictive synthetic opioid, is up to 100 times more potent than morphine. Some drug dealers mix it with other substances such as heroin or cocaine because it’s cheaper and requires less to get high, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
“This is especially risky when people taking drugs don’t realize they might contain fentanyl as a cheap but dangerous additive,” the agency’s website reads. “They might be taking stronger opioids than their bodies are used to and can be more likely to overdose.”