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Suspect Acquitted In Heroin Death Trial

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TROY, IL (KTVI)-- She was a 17-year-old cheerleader and her first dose of heroin proved fatal.

Madison County judge James Hackett dropped the murder charges against Shannon Gaddis' accused drug dealer 20-year-old Taylor Kennedy. Judge Hackett said that the prosecution did not prove a violation of Illinois law. The judge released Kennedy from custody.

In a statement, Madison County state's Attorney Thomas Gibbons said, "The judge ruled that the statute required that the delivery had to have taken place in Illinois."

After the decision, friends of Shannon Gaddis gathered at the park bench in Troy dedicated to her memory.

They played music and shared stories, but the memories became overshadowed by disappointment towards the court's decision.

Thomas Gibbons expressed the need for a change in the law so cases like this don't happen again in the future.

Shannon Gaddis' family also released a statement encouraging people to contact their local legislature to encourage a change as well.

After the decision, friends of Shannon are left still seeking that closure after the loss of someone they all loved very much.      

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