UPDATE: Woman Sentenced for Role in 2011 Death

UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Jennifer Thomas has been sentenced after admitting to her role in the 2011 death of a Rockford man.

Thomas was sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges in December 2012.

In January 2011, Rockford Police responded to a drug overdose call in the 1800 block of Melrose Street and found Zachary Dunn unresponsive. Dunn later died at a local hospital. Both Thomas and another man, Delano Freeman faced several charges concerning Dunn's death.

Freeman pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges in August 2012 and was sentenced to five years in prison.


ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- In January, Rockford Police responded to a drug overdose call in the 1800 block of Melrose Street and found Zachary Dunn unresponsive--he later died at a local hospital.

Rockford Police Department Detectives conducted follow up investigation on the incident. The facts of the case were reviewed with the Winnebago County States Attorney’s Office who authorized the charges of First Degree Murder, Drug Induced Homicide and Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin on Delano M. Freeman, 28, of Rockford and Jennifer N. Thomas, 27, of Ashville, North Carolina. Arrest warrants were obtained for both individuals.

On August 25th, Thomas was taken into custody in Ashville, North Carolina. Freeman was arrested on the warrant in the Winnebago County Jail, where he was being held on unrelated charges.


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  • by Michele Location: Cahokia on May 9, 2012 at 03:43 AM
    Personally this charge is a bit confusing. If you can prove that the drugs were provided by an individual, obviously they have acquired it or made it so possession with intent to distribute and manufacture if are felonies seems like felony murder would be a better means to get those druggies not nice enough to do society a favor and give it up or die, No need for intent questions and chain of possession of the drugs is not an issue. This charge seems to to require proof of knowledgeable transfer. Time for us to really get tough on drugs!
  • by mb Location: nyc on Jan 4, 2012 at 11:45 AM
    How is it a crime when crackheads kill each other? Good riddance.
  • by honest Location: rockford on Aug 30, 2011 at 07:32 PM
    This is a tragic death, Rockford has a HUGE problem with drugs and specifically heroin. But from what I am hearing the person who died injected heroin himself, no one forced it on him. That is like charging a gun shop with selling a gun to someone who then killed someone with it. Come on! Personal responsibility still exists in America right?
  • by None of your concern Location: Again, none of your concern on Aug 27, 2011 at 08:47 PM
    Who are you to judge, Gretchen? Are you really so closely involved in this matter that you can pass judgement? What do you truly know?
  • by Gretchen Roberts Location: Rockford il. on Aug 27, 2011 at 09:58 AM
    It's about time!!! This is the second life she's claimed this same way... She's right where she belongs.
    • reply
      by Amy on Aug 27, 2011 at 08:00 PM in reply to Gretchen Roberts
      What do you mean that's it's the second life she's claimed? Who else is she responsible for killing and how did she do it?
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