After pleading guilty to a homicide charge, Shawn Eikey offered a tearful apology Friday to the parents of a Joliet woman who died after a drug overdose — the result of drugs he was accused of providing to the woman’s boyfriend.
Emily Buckley, 22, died Aug. 26 after overdosing on hydromorphone, a prescription opioid, officials said. Eikey was accused of delivering the drugs to Buckley’s boyfriend the day she died.
“I want to apologize to (the family), she was really a nice girl,” Eikey told Will County Judge Sarah Jones. “Nothing I can do will bring her back.”
Eikey, of Rockdale, pleaded guilty to drug-induced homicide in exchange for a six-year prison term. He was eligible to serve six to 30 years in prison.
State law allows for a charge of drug-induced homicide when a person unlawfully delivers a controlled substance that causes another person’s death.
Though Jones thanked Eikey, 22, for his “very honest” apology, she told Eikey he stole Buckley’s life.
“You’re a thief,” she told Eikey. “You stole the promise of a vibrant, young life.”
She encouraged him to take advantage of any drug treatment he may receive in jail and change course.
“If you continue to be involved in opioid use, you may not live to be 30 … nobody wants that,” Jones said.
Buckley’s mother, Pam, told Eikey she regularly prayed for him. She also said she hoped that Eikey would see his plea deal as rehabilitative rather than punitive.
“It is my true hope that Shawn will use this time to make important changes in his life,” Buckley said as she read her victim impact statement in court Friday.
Eikey nodded his head in agreement when Buckley said her daughter’s friends told her that Emily did not use opioids and, in fact, “hated them” and would often argue with her boyfriend over his use of them.
“She told him that she was afraid that something very bad was going to happen, and she was right,” Buckley said.
The night she died, Buckley said her daughter took the drugs after noticing police talking to her boyfriend outside his house. Worried that the house might be searched and unable to find a place in the basement to dispose of the drugs, Emily took them herself.
“Obviously, this was a very poor split-second decision on the part of Emily and we will never understand it,” Buckley said during her victim impact statement Friday.
She described her daughter, who has a twin brother, as a loyal friend who was quick to help others. Eikey nodded his head in agreement and wiped away tears as Buckley talked about her daughter.
“We have a serious problem with opioids in our community,” said Buckley, who has participated in drug abuse awareness forums since her daughter’s death, “and it all starts with prescription opioids.”