Fentanyl Scourge: Wheeling Man Charged with Felony Drug Delivery, Drug-Induced Homicide After Death of Mundelein Teen

Mundelein police charged James J. Murray, 21, of Wheeling about two weeks after he was charged with dealing the drugs that led to the fatal overdose of Nathan Clyde, 19, from Mundelein. James J. Murray, 21, was charged with two felony drug delivery charges, including one count of drug-induced homicide. Murray was arrested April 12, 2018 and his bail was set by a Lake County judge at $750,000.

Police determined Murray sold Clyde one or two bags of suspected heroin just before Clyde died, authorities said. When Clyde died on August 17, 2017 police found a small bag with white powder in his wallet that tested positive for fentanyl. Additionally, the Lake County coroner ruled that Nathan Clyde died of an accidental overdose.

According to Mundelein Police Chief Eric Guenther, when detectives who were investigating the source of the drugs, they got a tip from a frustrated family of another male overdose victim, who also overdosed on August 17, 2017, but did not die. The family of the surviving victim believed his drugs had been delivered by the same dealer. Guenther declined to identify the man who overdosed, but revealed that he lived in Lake County and survived his overdose.

While developing the case involving suspect James J. Murray, detectives used the statements given by the surviving victim’s relatives. Investigators also gathered information in other interviews. Police also obtained search warrants and grand jury subpoenas to access social media accounts and cellphone records.

According to Guenther, there was some social media evidence collected, and there were actual text messages between the victim and the dealer himself. Guenther said drug-induced homicide is a difficult crime to investigate, and that this is only the second time in five years that the Mundelein Police Department has charged someone with drug-induced homicide.


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