Judge dismisses motion to suppress in drug-induced homicide case

MARION COUNTY — A 40-year-old Centralia woman charged in Marion County Court with felony Drug-Induced Homicide is scheduled for a court hearing Tuesday after Judge Marc Kelly earlier this month dismissed defense motions to suppress evidence in the case.

Jeri Carpenter
(Source: CPD)

Jeri L. Carpenter was charged in January 2020 with the September 2019 overdose death of 36-year-old Mathew E. Proksha.

According to Centralia Police Chief Greg Dodson, at 1:30 p.m. New Year’s Eve, officers arrested Jeri L. Carpenter, of Centralia after she was identified as being responsible for providing Proksha with the drugs that resulted in his death. Toxicology results indicated that Proksha died of a Fentanyl overdose.

Dodson says Fentanyl is commonly mixed with or substituted for heroin and is typically much more potent and has a higher risk of overdose.

At a court hearing earlier this month, Judge Kelly found that Centralia police officers had sufficient probable cause to arrest Carpenter based upon text messages between her and the deceased.

Kelly also ruled that once in custody, Carpenter refused to speak with officers and her initial interview lasted only minutes.

Detectives were then called away to handle an unrelated stabbing and Carpenter was reportedly left shackled in an interview room for two hours.

At that point, detectives returned, reread Carpenter her Miranda warnings and began questioning her about a crime not addressed in the first interrogation.

Kelly ruled that Carpenter’s right to remain silent was scrupulously honored and he denied the defense motions.

Carpenter is charged with Class X felony drug-induced homicide, which is punishable by up to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.