Alex Ventresca’s relatives held one another Thursday in a McHenry County courtroom as the family tearfully addressed the 60-year-old man who delivered Ventresca a fatal dose of fentanyl-laced heroin.
Steven C. Glennon was sentenced Thursday to nine years in prison for delivery of heroin in connection with Ventresca’s Nov. 26, 2019, death.
Glennon additionally received a five-year prison sentence for an unrelated attempted aggravated robbery charge. On May 9, 2019, Glennon displayed a knife and demanded cash from a cashier at Nezda’s Little Store, 502 Ringwood Road, McHenry, court records show.
He will serve the sentences together at 50%, meaning he is required to spend at least 4½ years in prison. Glennon with receive credit for any time he already has served at the McHenry County Jail until he arrives at the Illinois Department of Corrections.
“I hope every minute spent behind bars feels like an eternity,” Ventresca’s aunt Denise Hopman said in court Thursday.
Glennon was arrested May 7, 2020, in connection with Ventresca’s fatal overdose.
Officers on Nov. 26, 2019, discovered Ventresca dead in his home, court records show. Phone records revealed that Ventresca communicated with Glennon on Nov. 26, 2019, about a drug delivery and then traveled to Glennon’s apartment. Ventresca was found dead several hours after returning home, with heroin byproducts and fentanyl in his system, court records show.
At Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Ventresca’s mother, Debbie Ventresca, said her 27-year-old son previously attended rehab before relapsing.
“It’s so unfair that you are even allowed a plea deal,” Debbie Ventresca said. “You should be put away for murder because that’s what you’ve done. You murdered our son.”
Glennon declined an opportunity to speak on his own behalf in court Thursday.
His sentence was the result of a March 19 plea deal with the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office. In exchange for Glennon’s guilty pleas, prosecutors dismissed additional charges punishable by more prison time, including drug-induced homicide. Although both parties had agreed to a sentence at the time of Glennon’s plea deal, a hearing date was set for Thursday so that Alex Ventresca’s family could be present.
Throughout the afternoon, the family spoke about the cousin, son and friend they described as smart, funny and respectful. All in all, Alex Ventresca was a man who “loved his family and friends wholeheartedly,” Debbie Ventresca said.
“Alex was the apple of my and my husband’s eyes,” she said. “It was just the three of us for 27 years, and you took that away.”
Debbie Ventresca said her son’s biggest mistakes were “one, ever trying that highly addictive drug, and two, being an acquaintance of yours,” she said to Glennon in court Friday.
At the time of his death, Alex Ventresca had recently started a new job and was waiting until Dec. 1 for his insurance to take effect so he could seek additional treatment, his mother said.
Beyond Alex Ventresca’s struggle with addiction, he was a practical jokester and a close friend to his many cousins, his family said Thursday.
“He had to dodge a coffee cup that went flying into the air when he decided he was going to scare away my hiccups,” Hopman said.
The woman also provided McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt with a bag filled with pictures of Alex Ventresca.
“Steve took my nephew’s life, but I’ll be damned if I let him take away the memories of who he really was,” Hopman said.
Although Alex Ventresca bought the heroin from Glennon, he didn’t know it was laced with fentanyl, Hopman said.
“Yes, he had a relapse, but he did not want to die,” she said.
Alex Ventresca’s cousin Lia Kristie told Glennon “it disgusts” her to know that Glennon was one of the last people to see her “beautiful cousin’s soul.”
“From the bottom of my heart, I hate you and I hope you never forget it,” Kristie said to Glennon on Thursday.
Another of Alex Ventresca’s cousins, Gia Lindsey, asked Glennon never to deliver drugs again, adding that she knows drugs have impacted his life as well her family’s.
“Please keep that in mind while you serve your sentence and when you get out,” she said. “Don’t let drugs ruin any more lives.”