Crime & Courts

Rockford man pleads not guilty in Marengo drug-induced homicide

Jaynell J. Ross, 37 of Rockford, was charged with drug-induced homeicide for supplying heroin to a man who died.
Jaynell J. Ross, 37 of Rockford, was charged with drug-induced homeicide for supplying heroin to a man who died.

MARENGO – A Rockford man on Friday pleaded not guilty to drug-induced homicide charges that arose after the death of a 30-year-old Marengo man.

Jaynell J. Ross, 37, of the 4100 block of Laramie Lane, appeared in McHenry County court Friday morning, wearing a Winnebago County Jail uniform. Prosecutors had requested Ross be transported from the other county’s jail, where he was being held on separate drug charges, according to a petition filed by the state’s attorney’s office.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office responded July 11 to a home in the 25000 block of Harmony Road, Marengo, for an unresponsive 30-year-old man, who died later that day, according to a news release at the time. Detectives from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force found evidence that the man ingested heroin before his death, police said.

Ross, beside his attorney Kunal Kulkarni, entered a not guilty plea Friday to charges accusing him of supplying the man with a fatal dose of heroin, charging documents show.

Kulkarni was not available to comment.

Ross will be taken back to Winnebago County Jail to handle ongoing charges, McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney John Gibbons said in an email.

He is scheduled to return to McHenry County for a Jan. 16 court date.

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