Crime & Courts

Crystal Lake man accused of drug-induced homicide of Wonder Lake woman gets bond cut in half

Jessie A. Brown, 23, of Crystal Lake, charged with drug-induced homicide, a Class X felony. The charges are in connection with the March 25, 2016, death of a Wonder Lake woman.
Jessie A. Brown, 23, of Crystal Lake, charged with drug-induced homicide, a Class X felony. The charges are in connection with the March 25, 2016, death of a Wonder Lake woman.

WOODSTOCK – A McHenry County judge granted a bond reduction for a Crystal Lake man charged with drug-induced homicide in connection with a suspected morphine overdose death in Wonder Lake.

Jessie A. Brown has been in custody on $250,000 bond at the McHenry County Jail since his arrest in April. He was arrested following a monthlong investigation of the death of 20-year-old Wonder Lake resident Ashley M. Mancuso and charged with drug-induced homicide, a Class X felony.

McHenry County Sheriff’s police were dispatched March 25 to the 7800 block of Balsam Drive, Wonder Lake, and said they found evidence indicating that the 20-year-old may have ingested morphine before she died. The case was turned over to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Police Narcotics Task Force, which includes the Lake in the Hills Police Department.

After weighing several different factors, McHenry County Judge Michael Feetterer said Wednesday he would reduce Brown’s bond to $125,000.

George Killis, Brown’s attorney, argued in court that his client is not a flight risk because of his lack of any prior criminal history, local ties to the community and strong family support system. He also said Brown already has a job secured in Lakemoor upon his release.

He said his client also is willing to follow additional recommendations if he was able to post bond, which could include a set curfew, random drug testing, a drug/alcohol evaluation and a requirement to maintain employment.

Assistant State’s Attorney Dave Johnston said Brown reportedly was acquainted with Mancuso and that the two previously were in a relationship.

Johnston said Brown allegedly told police he sold drugs to Mancuso before the March incident, and that this incident – in which Brown allegedly sold five 30 milligram morphine pills to Mancuso – was not just a one-time occurrence.

“He preyed on someone who deserved more from him,” Johnston said.

Killis said his client had no prior knowledge of what happened to Mancuso and “broke down” when he found out she had died.

Brown will next appear in court May 25.

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