An Idaho Falls man who bought drugs that killed his fiancée was sentenced to prison Monday.
District Judge Joel Tingey ordered Jon Jennette to serve a minimum of three years in prison with an indeterminate period of 10 years.
Jessie Mendoza read a statement about the impact the death of his sister, Mystery Haggard, had on the family.
“The crime on Feb. 9, 2019, completely turned our life upside down,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza described Haggard, the youngest of four siblings, as the glue holding them together. He said she was recovering from drug addiction when she died.
Mendoza also accused Jennette of receiving money from Haggard’s insurance. Mendoza has since adopted Haggard’s 11-month-old daughter and paid for her funeral expenses, adding financial burdens to emotional ones.
Defense Attorney Neal Randall called the case “heartbreaking,” but said Haggard’s addiction was the primary cause of her death.
“This is what we have, is a heartbreaking death because of addiction,” Randall said.
Randall said his client bought the heroin Haggard overdosed on but did not give it to Haggard or encourage her to use it.
Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Dewey, however, said Jennette led Haggard back into the addiction she was trying to escape, describing it as a “pit.”
“She’s deceased because of a lifestyle she tried to get out of, but he pulled her back in,” Dewey said.
According to Dewey, Haggard had completed the Young Adult Court program in January just a month before her death.
Jennette apologized to Haggard’s family. He denied regularly using drugs as Dewey described, saying he only used heroin once in November 2018.
He also said Haggard was addicted to drugs before he met her.
Both sides recommended prison, with Randall asking for two to five years and Dewey recommending five to 15 years. Tingey chose a longer sentence based on the cost Jennette’s crime had on the victim.
“That is a tragedy, to have a young woman who is not going to be able to see what life had to offer her,” Tingey said.
Dewey filed a motion for restitution for Haggard’s funeral expenses. Randall first said he intended to object, but was interrupted by Jennette, who said he would willingly cover the cost.