A drug dealer charged in the fatal fentanyl overdose of rapper Mac Miller was hit with a 17-and-a-half year federal prison sentence Monday after the judge on the case tossed an earlier plea deal he said was too lenient.
Stephen Walter, who pleaded guilty to one felony count of distributing fentanyl, originally agreed with prosecutors to a flat 17-year prison sentence.
But US District Judge Otis Wright rejected that sentence because Walter, 49, kept dealing even after Miller overdosed in September 2018, according to a sentencing memo obtained by The Post. A 17-year sentence would have also been below federal guidelines.
Wright even told Walter during the sentencing he could withdraw and forge ahead with a trial.
“The court has elected not to accept that plea agreement. So, sir, if you want, at this point, you can withdraw your guilty plea and go to trial,” Wright said, according to Rolling Stone. “I may as well lay it out, OK. When you continue to engage in this activity even after your activities killed someone, I’m having a tough time not staying within the guidelines.”
Walter ultimately agreed to the higher prison sentence, making him the second drug dealer to face time behind bars for the death of Miller, whose real name was Malcolm James McCormick.
Walter, Cameron Pettit and Ryan Reavis were all charged by the US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California in October 2019 over Miller’s death. The three men originally faced charges of conspiring to distribute controlled substances resulting in death and distribution of fentanyl resulting in death.
Prosecutors alleged Pettit sold 10 “blues,” which is slang for oxycodone pills, as well as cocaine and Xanax to Miller two days before he overdosed in Studio City. The oxycodone pills were counterfeit though, prosecutors said, and instead contained fentanyl.
Pettit ordered the fentanyl-laced pills from Walter and then Reavis gave them to Pettit.
Walter, when addressing the court, apologized to Miller’s family but denied knowing the drugs he supplied killed the rapper until after he was arrested, Rolling Stone reported. He claims he believes Pettit only 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 said, according to Rolling Stone.
“I’m still taking responsibility for everything that happened, but he never told me it was for another person,” Walter went on to say. “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,” continued Walter. “So I had no idea that somebody had passed. If I would have known, I would not have continued that type of behavior.”
Miller’s mother, Karen Meyers, wrote in a statement that was read during the sentencing her life went dark the moment her son died.
“His laughter was infectious and bright. My love for him was unparalleled, and I felt the same from him,” she wrote, according to Rolling Stone. “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.”