Will spend two years in prison, judge rules
An Oconomowoc man will spend two years in prison for providing the prescription drugs that led to the overdose death of 21-year-old Merton resident Colton Sweitzer, a Waukesha County Circuit Court judge ruled recently.
Presiding Judge Lloyd Carter on March 9 meted out that sentence, plus two years of extended supervision, to 46-year-old Jacob Hornburg, online court records show. Hornburg pleaded guilty to manufacturing or delivering schedule I and II narcotics in January.
Hornburg was originally charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the case, which began about 14 months ago. The charge was reduced as part of a plea agreement.
Sweitzer, a well known multisport athlete at Arrowhead High School, died Oct. 18, 2014. A medical examiner determined his cause of death to be an oxycodone intoxication.
Phone records provided link
According to court documents, suspicious text messages about a drug exchange and a phone call between Sweitzer and a man later identified as Hornburg around the the time of Sweitzer's death linked Hornburg to the incident.
Hornburg told police in a subsequent interview that he had sold drugs to Sweitzer in the past, but couldn't remember whether he sold Sweitzer any drugs around the time that he died, a criminal complaint said.
But a former friend of Sweitzer's later told investigators that Hornburg became worried shortly after news of an investigation into the incident began circulating, and, according to the complaint, said Hornburg said he sold pills to Sweitzer the night before he died, but not on the night of his death.
Lighter sentence proposed
In a letter to the court filed before his sentencing, Hornburg's attorney, Anthony Cotton, asked for a lighter sentence — 12 months of conditional jail time and five years' probation — for his client.
"Mr. Hornburg has strong family ties to the (Oconomowoc) community," Cotton wrote, "and the criminal prosecution has had a devastating impact on Mr. Hornburg and his wife."
Cotton also noted that Hornburg is an opiate addict determined to beat his addiction.
"The probation department is best situated to provide drug testing and oversight so that Mr. Hornburg can continue working to overcome his addiction," Cotton said.
According to court records, Hornburg must maintain absolute sobriety, a full-time job, submit to random drug screens and is prohibited from having any contact with known drug users or dealers, or any place where illegal drugs are purchased, used, stored, packaged or distributed.
He owes the court $176.