Carl Timpone/BFA/REX/Shutterstock Mac Miller
A man was sentenced to over 17 years in prison on Monday for providing the fentanyl-laced pills that contributed to Mac Miller's accidental drug overdose.
After pleading guilty last year to a federal count of distribution of fentanyl, which could result in a mandatory 20 years behind bars, Stephen Walter, 49, was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, ABC7 and CBS Los Angeles reported.
Walter had previously entered a plea agreement subjecting him to 17 years incarcerated, but the judge reportedly gave him a harsher sentence for continuing to sell the drugs after the rapper's death.
During his remarks in court, Walter apologized to Miller's family and said his "actions caused a lot of pain."
"For that I'm truly remorseful," he said, according to ABC7. "I'm not the type of person that wants to hurt anyone."
He's one of three men charged in the case. Last month, Ryan Michael Reavis, 39, pleaded guilty to the distribution charge and received nearly 11 years behind bars, while the case against 30-year-old Cameron Pettit of West Hollywood is pending.
Walter supplied the counterfeit oxycodone pills to Reavis, who allegedly gave them to Pettit, per Deadline. Reavis admittedly knew the pills contained fentanyl before allegedly giving them to the rapper, whose real name was Malcolm James McCormick, on Sept. 5, 2018. Two days later, Miller died of a fatal overdose in Studio City, California. He was 26.
In court, Walter also claimed he had "no idea" of Miller's death, thought the drugs were for Pettit to use, and "would've stopped" if he was aware. "I'm still taking responsibility for everything that happened," he said. "I accept responsibility."
Last month, Reavis said in Los Angeles federal court that he was the middle man with no knowledge that the counterfeit oxycodone pills he provided to another drug dealer were laced with fentanyl, Rolling Stone reported.
He said that he did not know the pills he provided caused the rapper's death until his arrest in Arizona in September 2019, according to the publication.
"This is not just a regular drug case. Somebody died, and a family is never going to get their son back. My family would be wrecked if it was me," he told the court, per Rolling Stone. "They'd never be all right, never truly get over it. I think about that all the time."
"And I know that whatever happens today, I'm the lucky one because my family is here and I'm here and I'll be with them again. I feel terrible," he added. "This is not who I am. My perspective has changed. My heart has changed."
District Judge Otis D. Wright II sentenced Reavis to 10 years and 11 months behind bars for his involvement in the rapper's 2018 death, which was less than the 12-and-a-half years recommended by prosecutors. He had sought five years in prison, according to the outlet.
In addition to his time in custody, Reavis also was sentenced to three years of supervised release with drug testing, Rolling Stone reported.
Karen Meyers/Instagram Karen Meyers and Mac Miller
Prior to the sentencing, prosecutors read a poignant statement from Miller's mother, Karen Meyers, who shared the impact of losing her son.
"My life went dark the moment Malcolm left his world. Malcolm was my person, more than a son," the statement read, per Rolling Stone. "We had a bond and kinship that was deep and special and irreplaceable. We spoke nearly every day about everything – his life, plans, music, dreams."
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"He would never knowingly take a pill with fentanyl, ever. He wanted to live and was excited about the future. The hole in my heart will always be there," she added.
Prosecutors said Reavis was in possession of three guns including an untraceable "ghost gun" in addition to boxes of ammunition, "digital scales covered in heroin and methamphetamine residue," blank prescription pads, and baggies, according to Rolling Stone.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elia Herrera also reportedly said in court that a recovered June 2019 text message showed Reavis was still selling pills nearly a year after Miller's death.
"Defendant knew that people were dying from fake blues left and right. He knew that people were being put away in prison for life for dealing them. Defendant was not worried about people dying left and right. He was worried about getting caught," Herrera said, per Rolling Stone.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.