Overdosing on drugs was what ultimately caused the death of Bobbi Brittany Graves, a nurse who was 36 years old. Graves’ boyfriend, who has admitted to taking drugs with her on the day she passed away, is the subject of her mother’s demand that he be charged with drug-induced homicide.
After the fatal overdose of a nurse in Springfield, Illinois, age 36, her body was discovered in the hotel room where she had been staying for more than two days.
According to the reports from the Springfield police department, during that time period, the woman’s boyfriend, Loren Letz, 40, who admitted to taking drugs with her on January 18, used her car and debit card to make withdrawals from her bank account totaling more than $500. Letz also admitted to taking drugs with the woman on January 18.
Letz, a local of Springfield, was ultimately arrested and charged with three separate offenses, the most serious of which were theft and possession of a stolen vehicle, in addition to the unusual offense of concealing a death, which is a Class 4 felony.
After the death of Bobbi Brittany Graves, the highest possible sentence that Letz might receive is 14 years in prison; however, the length of time served could be lowered in half for good behavior during his incarceration.
However, Roberta Hoffstadt Hahn, Graves’ mother, is advocating for a far longer prison sentence for Letz.
She is furious that the police and prosecutors have told her that they do not have sufficient evidence to charge Letz with drug-induced homicide in the death of her daughter, who was a single mother of three children and was four months pregnant at the time of her death. Homicide that was caused by drug use is a Class X crime, which carries a maximum jail sentence of up to 30 years and requires that 75% of the sentence be served.
Hahn, 61 years old and a resident of Springfield, was quoted in the Illinois Times as saying, “I am just not satisfied with them.” “They wanted to ignore the problem from the very beginning and pretend it didn’t exist. I am seeking justice.”
Letz is currently being detained at the Sangamon County Jail on a bond amount of $350,000. He has entered not-guilty pleas to all three accusations, and it is possible that his trial will start as early as the end of May.
Letz, together with his attorneys Victoria Kerr and Michael Harmon, has declined to comment on the status of his case. Dan Wright, who is the state’s attorney for Sangamon County, likewise declined to comment.
According to Assistant Chief Joshua Stuenkel of the Springfield Police Department, the department is in the process of “feels terrible for the family that has been affected by this awful event. An exhaustive and exhaustive investigation was carried out by the investigations division, and the results of that investigation were delivered to the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office so that appropriate charges could be brought in light of the facts.”
Even though Illinois is experiencing a spike in deadly overdoses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the case serves as an illustration of the difficulties involved in holding individuals accountable following deadly overdoses. Robert Berlin, the state’s attorney for DuPage County, stated that allegations of drug use leading to homicide are “extremely difficult to prove.”
According to him, there were more than 130 fatal drug overdoses in DuPage County in 2021, yet only 19 charges of drug-induced homicide have been filed in the county since 2014. This is a significant disparity. According to Berlin, in order for prosecutors to obtain a conviction, they need to be able to prove that an offender “illegally provided” narcotics to the victim and that the drugs that were delivered were the ones that caused the death of the victim.
According to him, it would be difficult to obtain a conviction for drug-induced homicide if the person who used drugs alongside the victim did not sell the drugs or in some other way “deliver” the drugs to the victim. This would make it difficult to prove that the person was responsible for the victim’s death.
In 2019, Wright stated the following to the Illinois Times: “It is my responsibility to uphold the law, further the cause of justice, and protect the general populace. I will pursue criminal charges when there is information that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the death was caused by drug use.”
According to Graves’ mother, Graves had a problem with heroin addiction ever since she was in her 20s. Graves worked as a licensed practical nurse. Hahn stated that although Graves did not participate in inpatient treatment, she was under the care of a physician and was taking the anti-addiction medication Suboxone at the time of her death.
According to Hahn, Graves’s children, whose ages ranged from five to twenty years old, had been placed in the care of Graves’s relatives throughout the year that she had been seeing Letz. According to Hahn, Graves had upcoming interviews for two positions at long-term care homes at the time of her passing, despite the fact that she was unemployed and lived with her mother at the time of her passing.
Hahn expressed that she was concerned for her daughter’s well-being. “She told me, ‘Someday, he’s going to murder me,'” Hahn said. “Someday, he’s going to kill me.” According to Hahn’s account, Letz also sent threatening texts to her daughter.
According to the police reports, Letz and Graves’ text exchanges “seem to reflect a turbulent relationship that oscillates between affection for each other and anger, with threatening texts being exchanged from both sides.”
Hahn disclosed to the police Graves left Hahn’s house on January 18 without taking any of her medication, and she sent a text message to her mother saying that she was going to “take all of the heroin that was needed” to kill herself. Graves had previously stated that she intended to end her life by overdosing on heroin.
Hahn disclosed to the police Her daughter reported that at the time, she was “overwhelmed with everything she had going on in her life.” Hahn reportedly disclosed to the police that Graves was 16 weeks pregnant and that they “did not know who the father was.”
Letz has confessed to the police that he is the father of Graves’ unborn child.
On the evening of January 18, according to the police, Graves’ credit card was used to pay for a hotel room at the Ramada by Wyndham Springfield North, which is located at 3281 Northfield Drive. According to the authorities, Letz purchased the room for the 19th and 20th of January. According to the police files, Letz also attempted to reserve the accommodation for the 21st of January, but she was informed that the room would not be available.
According to Hahn, the debit card belonging to her daughter was used to pay for all three nights spent at the hotel.
Letz told the police that he and Graves, who he had dated on and off for a number of years, “made plans to get drugs and hang out at a motel for several days” because he intended to check himself into a drug treatment center “to get clean from an addiction to heroin and methamphetamines.” Graves told the police that she and Letz had “made plans to get drugs and hang out at a motel for several days.”
According to the statement that Letz gave to the police before the couple traveled to the Ramada, Letz said that Graves brought heroin to a mobile home where he was sleeping, and they both consumed heroin there. Letz’s testimony was given to the police.
Letz informed the police that Graves began “passing out” and that the overdose reversal medication Narcan was administered to him at the residence.
The pair continued to use heroin once they checked into their hotel on the evening of January 18, according to the police.
According to the records filed by the police: “Letz claimed that Graves was injecting the narcotics into her own body, and he also claimed that Graves was taking methamphetamine, which she obtained from the same drug supplier as the other substances. He claimed that the majority of the time he was so stoned as a result of the narcotics he was using, which is why he does not recall all of the specifics of what occurred.”
According to the police, Letz told them that he found out the next day that Graves had passed away and “freaked out.”
According to the accounts, even though he was aware that she had passed away, he chose not to notify anyone and continued to pay for the accommodation so that he could be with her. “He said that he drove off in her automobile because he was distraught and out of his mind at the time,”
It is unknown how long Letz remained in the room after Graves passed away until he was seen leaving the hotel for good on January 21.
According to the investigations, housekeepers who entered the room around 1:15 p.m. on January 21 to clean it discovered Graves’ body lying face-down in bed, covered by a large white blanket.
The police discovered that the room’s thermostat was set to 67 degrees, and they also discovered that an oscillating fan had been plugged in with white tissue paper that smelled like perfume placed inside of it.
On January 24, Letz surrendered himself to the authorities. After his arrest, he was charged with concealment of a death, and then, in the middle of March, a grand jury indictment brought additional charges against him, including theft and possession of a stolen car.
Graves’ death was revealed to have been brought on by an overdose of fentanyl, buprenorphine, xylazine, and methamphetamine, according to the findings of an autopsy and toxicology tests. According to Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon, the combination of buprenorphine and other drugs can have a hazardous effect on the user. Buprenorphine is one of the ingredients in Suboxone.
Graves’ system tested negative for heroin, but a trace of Narcan was discovered. According to Allmon, Graves may have had traces of Narcan in her system either as a result of her usage of Suboxone, which contains Narcan or as a result of her receiving Narcan separately in an attempt to counteract the effects of an overdose.
He concluded that Graves did not commit suicide but rather died from an accidental overdose.
According to Allmon, a significant number of individuals who approach dealers in quest of injectable heroin end up being sold just fentanyl without their knowledge. According to him, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is less expensive than heroin but is fifty times more potent, and it is the primary cause of many overdoses.
According to Allmon, drug dealers frequently combine heroin and fentanyl with the veterinary tranquilizer known as xylazine, which is intended for use on cattle and other large animals.
According to Berlin, the state’s attorney for DuPage County, families are occasionally let down when family and prosecutors suspect a drug-induced homicide may have occurred but the evidence is too ambiguous to establish the indictment.
He explained that their anger was caused by the absence of any form of justice. “However, this is an inevitable consequence of the nature of the criminal justice system.”