Mac Miller Death: Man Sentenced to 17.5 Years in Prison Over Fentanyl-Laced Pills
By Mona Khalifeh
Photo by Mauricio Santana/Getty Images
Another one of the men responsible for supplying the fentanyl-laced pills that led to rapper Mac Miller's fatal overdose four years ago, has been sentenced. On Monday, Stephen Walter was sentenced to 210 months -- 17 and a half years -- in federal prison for his role in the crime.
According to the court docs, obtained by ET, days before Miller's overdose, Walter directed co-defendant Ryan Reavis to distribute the fentanyl-laced pills to co-defendant Cameron Pettit, who in turn sold them to Miller.
As a result, all three defendants were charged with distribution of fentanyl resulting in death and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances resulting in death, with Walter also being charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition.
While the charges carry a 20-year mandatory minimum prison term, Walter entered into a plea agreement last October, under which he would instead be subject to a 17-year prison term. U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright, II struck down Walter's plea agreement during his sentencing Monday as "too lenient" after it was revealed that he continued to sell cocaine and the dangerous pills known as "blues" leading up to his 2019 arrest. He instead was handed down a 17 and a half year sentence and five years of supervised release.
Walter's sentencing comes just a month after Reavis was sentenced to 131 months -- 10 years -- in federal prison after pleading guilty last year to a federal count of distribution of fentanyl.
According to the docs, Reavis admitted knowing that the pills contained fentanyl or some other controlled substance. Shortly after Reavis handed over the fentanyl-laced pills, Pettit allegedly supplied the pills to Malcolm McCormick -- who recorded and performed under the name Mac Miller -- two days before the 26-year-old rapper suffered a fatal overdose in Studio City on Sept. 7, 2018.
Following Walter's sentencing, prosecutors read a statement from Miller’s mom, Karen Meyers -- the same heartbreaking statement read aloud in court for Reavis’ sentencing in April.
"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."
She added, "His laughter was infectious and bright. My love for him was unparalleled, and I felt the same from him. 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."
Walter also addressed the court and apologized to Miller's family.
"My actions caused a lot of pain, and for that I’m truly remorseful. I’m not that type of person who wants to hurt anybody. That’s not me. But on the paperwork where it says that I continued to conduct in that kind of behavior after I knew that there was death, that’s not the truth, your honor," Walter said Monday.
Walter went on to claim that he only directed Reavis to deliver the pills to Pettit, because he was under the impression that Pettit wanted the pills for himself.
"I dealt with Cameron Pettit, and he led me to believe that he was going to ingest the pills that I sold him. He never told me anything about McCormick. He didn’t tell me he was going to deliver those pills to another person," Walter explained.
"I’m still taking responsibility for everything that happened, but he never told me it was for another person," he continued. "He was experienced is using those pills. I thought it was for him -- for personal use. And then he delivered them to McCormick with cocaine and Xanax, or whatever. I was not willing to do that and had no intent to do anything else other than [sell to] Cameron Pettit. And then two days later, when there was an overdose, Cameron never called me and told me about it, that he had anything to do with him. So I had no idea that somebody had passed. If I would have known, I would not have continued that type of behavior."
After Walter's sentencing, his attorney, William S. Harris told ET that Walter does not plan to appeal his sentence and reiterated Walter's claim that he believed the pills were going to be used by Petit for his own personal consumption.
"Today U.S. District Judge Wright sentenced Mr. Walter to 210 months' incarceration followed by five years of supervised release and no fine. That is six months more than the agreed sentence of 204 months negotiated between this office and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles. Mr. Walter does not plan to appeal the sentence imposed today," Harris shared in a statement.
"Several points about this case should be noted. First, Mr. Walter had no knowledge of Malcolm McCormick aka Mac Miller, nor had he ever heard of Miller or learned of his death until his arrest in this federal case in 2019," he continued. "Second, Mr. Walter's understanding was that the counterfeit oxycontin pills ordered by co-defendant Pettit were for Pettit's personal consumption, not for further distribution. And third, Mr. Walter did not know that the pills ordered by Pettit and later supplied by Pettit to Miller contained fentanyl. Miller's cause of death was a mixed drug toxicity of fentanyl, cocaine and ethanol. In his plea agreement, Mr. Walter acknowledged that fentanyl was the but-for cause of Miller's death."
Despite the public nature of the case, Judge Wright told the court that his decision had nothing to do with Miller's "celebrity."
"This was a human being who unwittingly took something that will flat out kill you, and I have no idea why we have people out here dealing in this stuff, peddling this stuff," Judge Wright said. "This is what upsets me. Everybody now knows this stuff will kill you. I need to be quiet because I’m talking myself into something stratospheric."