CLEVELAND – All that was on Harry Konecny's mind was getting justice for his late wife as he appeared in a Cuyahoga County courtroom Thursday morning.
Konecny wanted 23-year-old Dominik Walker to get the maximum sentence for selling heroin to his wife, Marlene Rose. The 36-year-old Westlake woman died of a drug overdose last April.
“She wasn’t just a girl that did heroin and died,” Konecny said. “She was my wife. She was a mother, a daughter, a sister. She was the person I waited my whole life to find and the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.”
He was armed with pictures from their 2013 wedding and when she held her niece for the last time in April.
Walker pleaded guilty last month to charges of involuntary manslaughter and corrupting another with drugs. He told the court he had a drug addiction problem.
“I sincerely apologize to the family of the victim,” Walker said. “I know I made a mistake selling drugs and using them.”
Walker was sentenced to five years in prison.
“I pray for him every day because nobody in their right mind sells heroin knowing what they do, knowing it is a death sentence,” said Krista Jones, Marlene’s sister.
Prosecutors and family members said heroin is a problem plaguing nearly every neighborhood, and they hope lengthy sentences to drug dealers will help slow the epidemic.
“Heroin is the devil,” Konecny said, as he tucked the photo albums of his wife in a bag and walked out of the Justice Center.