Milton Moore, 23, of Fitchburg, pleaded no contest Thursday in Columbia County Circuit Court to first-degree reckless homicide by delivery of drugs. After his prison term, Moore will be on extended supervision for seven years.
Judge Alan White said while those who take heroin are responsible, it is important to also hold people who supply the drug to addicts accountable, especially when someone dies from an overdose.
"The people who are doing the selling are, to me, the most culpable," White told Moore. "They are making money off their misery."
Moore apologized at the hearing to the family of the victim, 17-year-old Jacob Adler of Lodi, and to the people of Columbia County, the Portage Daily Register reported.
Adler's mother, Shelly Johnson, said at the hearing that she hopes her son's story might save other lives. She told Moore she hopes he is able to do something else with his life.
"I want you to help others not suffer," Johnson told Moore.
Lodi police said Adler was found gasping for air when emergency medical responders arrived at a patio on July 12, 2012. Adler could not be revived. An autopsy showed he died from heroin toxicity.
Moore's co-defendant, 20-year-old Lars Atkinson of Lodi, was sentenced in October to 5 ½ years in prison and 5 ½ years on extended supervision. Atkinson pleaded no contest in July to a felony charge of first-degree reckless homicide by delivery of drugs.
According to the complaint, Atkinson told police he and Adler purchased the heroin in Madison, giving Moore $75 for half a gram.