British man sentenced for O’Fallon student’s overdose death

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EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KPLR) – A 41-year-old British national was sentenced in federal court Friday for selling the heroin that killed a 19-year-old high school student, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Stephen Wigginton said.

According to court documents, Richard Klemis was convicted in February 2015 on nine federal charges following an eight-day trial.

Klemis provided heroin to several O’Fallon High School students, among them Tyler McKinney. McKinney died of a heroin overdose on February 23, 2011.

Klemis was convicted of nearly killing a second person, as well as employing a 16-year-old to help him sell heroin.

Prior to his sentencing, the judge described Klemis as “evil and diabolical,” adding that he was a “drug predator who preyed on children.”

Tyler McKinney’s mother and stepfather each addressed the court during the sentencing hearing.

“I will never get to see him married,” Tyler’s mother said. “I will never see the grandchildren he might have had. Instead I had to bury him.”