In a rare victory for families who have lost loved ones to illegal narcotics, a Cook County judge sentenced a drug dealer to six years in prison for causing the 2019 death of an Edgewater man he met in rehab.
Christopher Paulus, 33, pleaded guilty to drug-induced homicide before Judge Peggy Chiampas. With credit for 576 days that he spent in custody before pleading, Paulus will be paroled in November 2024, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.
During an initial bond hearing in June 2020, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said Joshua Bloomfield, age 29, invited Paulus to come to his home in a text.
“OK, sure. I can come over,” Paulus allegedly replied. “I got some T, D, C, and X available,” references to methamphetamine, Dilaudid, cocaine, and ecstasy. Cellphone data shows Paulus arrived at Bloomfield’s home late on May 27, 2019, and stayed until around 3:30 a.m., Murphy said.
Bloomfield reportedly texted Paulus a short time later to question the amount of change Paulus gave him in a drug transaction.
“How did $50 in D and $20 in T come out to 90?” Bloomfield asked. “I think I f*cked up and overpaid you on accident.”
Paulus allegedly replied that he gave Bloomfield the correct change and added, “that raw laid you out like Mike Tyson in his prime.” Raw is a slang term for uncut narcotics, usually heroin.
Later that day, Bloomfield’s husband returned from a job interview in Wisconsin and found Bloomfield dead on their bathroom floor. A syringe was lying in the sink, and he appeared to have injection marks on his arms, Murphy said.
The Cook County medical examiner ruled his death an accident caused by combined drug and alcohol toxicity. Heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, and two prescription drugs were found in his system, according to medical examiner records.
Bloomfield’s husband, who found Bloomfield’s text messages with Paulus, had forbidden Bloomfield from associating with Paulus after a non-fatal overdose three months earlier, Murphy said.
In that case, Paulus allegedly apologized for Bloomfield’s brush with death, telling the husband, “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I told him to be careful.”