The drug dealer convicted in the fatal fentanyl overdose of Mac Miller was sentenced to 17 and a half years in federal prison on Monday.
Stephen Andrew Walter, 49, had initially struck a plea deal with federal prosecutors last October. However, the deal was found to be below federal guidelines as reported by Rolling Stone. This was prompted after Walter was found still selling cocaine and counterfeit fentanyl laced oxycodone pills leading up to his 2019 arrest.
The rapper was found dead on September 7, aged 26, and his death was later ruled an accidental drug overdose due to a “mixed drug toxicity” of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol.
Walter pleaded guilty to a single charge of fentanyl, which lead to the death of Miller. He then apologised to Miller’s family but claimed he didn’t know until he was arrested that the musician, born Malcolm McCormick, died from something he had supplied.
“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,” Judge Wright said. “I may as well lay it out, okay. 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.”
“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 behaviour after I knew that there was death, that’s not the truth, your honour,” Walter said Monday, while appearing in custody.
It’s alleged that Walter supplied fentanyl-laced oxycontin pills to co-defendant Cameron James Pettit in September of 2018, which were run to Pettit by the pair’s other co-defendant, Ryan Michael Reavis. The pills were then allegedly supplied to Miller, along with cocaine and Xanax.
Pettit’s case is still pending. If convicted on conspiracy and drug distribution charges, Pettit, who pleaded not guilty in October of 2019, faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years imprisonment, and the possibility of life without parole. Last month, Reavis was sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison for his role in Miller’s death.
Miller was incredibly open about his mental health and substance abuse in his music. . The Grammy nominated artist burst onto the mainstream in the early 2010s with hits like ‘The Spins’ and ‘Nikes on my feet’, ushering in the ‘frat rap’ wave and progressively becoming more experimental as his sound matured and evolved. Since then he’s been a cultural mainstay, receiving a much-deserved first platinum certification for 2018’s Swimming. His final studio album, Circles, was released posthumously in 2020 and was met with acclaim from fans and critics alike. The album received gold certification in 2021.