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Friday, January 10, 2014 —A Palatine woman has been charged with drug-induced homicide for the May death of a 34-year-old man, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

Michelle JohnsonMichelle Johnson, 40, was charged today. She is scheduled to appear in bond court Saturday morning at the George N. Leighton Criminal Court Building.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Police was investigating the May theft of pharmaceutical-grade morphine at a medical facility in unincorporated Maine Township. During the Sheriff’s Police investigation, detectives learned that Michelle Johnson had taken the narcotics from the medical facility. Johnson was employed as a nursing assistant at the facility at that time.

Sheriff’s Police detectives learned that Palatine Police were investigating the May death of 34-year-old John Maher, who was found dead at his home in the 700 block of Whispering Oaks in Palatine. Palatine police officers found morphine at the home that was prescribed to another person.

During the investigation, Sheriff’s Police, working in cooperation with Palatine Police Department, determined that the morphine Maher ingested was stolen from the unincorporated Maine Township medical facility.

The investigation also revealed that Johnson and Maher were friends, that they were together after the theft of the morphine, and that Maher had died as a result of taking the stolen narcotic.

In addition to the drug induced-homicide charge, Johnson was also charged with theft over $500 and delivery of a controlled substance.

Sheriff Dart reminds the public that the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the government in a court of law.

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