A 30-year-old Waukegan man was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison for his part in providing the heroin and fentanyl that led to the fatal overdose of a McHenry man in 2018.
Rashon R. Davis – who prosecutors said has had four prior felony convictions since 2010 on drug and weapons charges and has violated previous probations and spent time in prison – is the second person convicted in connection to the death of Alan Lippert, 35, of McHenry.
He is required to serve 50% of his sentence and will receive credit for the time he’s served in jail.
Davis pleaded guilty in December to attempted delivery of a controlled substance. The original charge of drug-induced homicide was dismissed, according to the McHenry County Public Access website.
Had Davis gone to trial on the single charge of attempted delivery, he could have faced between five and 10 years in prison because of his criminal history. The charge also is probational, prosecutors said.
The more serious charge of drug-induced homicide carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
Assistant State’s Attorney Susanne Groebner said the charge is probational but because Davis has a criminal history, has violated previous probations and was recognized in a pre-sentence evaluation as “a high-risk reoffender,” he warranted prison time.
In January 2019, Nicole Free, now 31, of McHenry, the mother of Lippert’s son, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance. Prosecutors also had initially charged Free with drug-induced homicide.
She was sentenced to 30 months of probation, 100 hours of community service and ordered to undergo drug and alcohol abuse treatment, according to the McHenry County court website.
Davis apologized to Lippert’s parents who were in the courtroom. He said he is “not a bad person … not a street thug.”
In asking for leniency, his attorney, LaTonya Burton, said Davis had grown up in a mentally abusive home where police often visited after his grandmother and caregiver had died. She asked for a sentence that would allow him to work at his new landscape business and continue to try to gain custody of his own two young children.
Burton added that Davis took responsibility for his crime in pleading guilty, and had it not been for his own words to police during the investigation, he may not have ever been charged.
“He did not try to lawyer up,” she said. “He admitted he was wrong.”
Davis is trying to change his life to create a better life for his own young children, Burton said.
In handing down the sentence, McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt said he hoped Davis could turn his life around and reconnect with his children. But, he added, a strict sentence is warranted to deter others. He said heroin is a “plague on our society” and Davis was a part of that plague.
After the sentencing hearing, Alan Lippert’s mother, Cathy, said she still misses her son and often goes to call him on the telephone until she realizes he has died. Still, she finds joy in spending time with her grandson, Alan’s child, who now is 10.
She said her grandson recently found his dad’s baseball hat and he sleeps with it.
“It breaks my heart,” she said.