GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) A 13-year prison sentence was handed down to Cassie Nygren in Brown County court. It was a day of high emotion for the woman battling drug addiction.
“Your honor, I know I’m going to prison. I just ask for a chance to redeem myself and get back to my son who needs me,” said Cassie Nygren.
In a Brown County courtroom, a discussion on the fate of Cassie Nygren, convicted in January of reckless homicide in the death of Jennifer Skeen.
“There are two people that died because of you assisting in giving drugs,” said Judge John Zakowski, hearing the case.
“When Cassie is living on her own, these are still her choices,” said Assistant District Attorney Wendy Lemkuil.
Police say in 2017 Nygren and ex-boyfriend Shawn Gray sold Skeen – Nygren’s friend – heroin laced with fentanyl that caused her death. Skeen was six months pregnant at the time.
But during Nygren’s sentencing hearing her attorney argued she only participated because she was being trafficked by Gray.
“He would discipline her for not doing what she was told to do,” said Dawn Jones, an expert in sex trafficking. “Had an incident with a drug dealer that was supplying them drugs and said she wasn’t supposed to get any without his permission. “
But the prosecution said Nygren’s decisions were her own, pointing to the fact that while being held in the custody in October last year, separated from Gray, she continued to distribute drugs while in the Brown County Jail.
“The defendant said she went into the bathroom – found a line of heroin under the paper and snorted it at the jail,” Zakowski said.
Judge Zakowski acknowledged that Nygren has had a hard life; a victim of sexual assault as a child who fell into many troubled relationships. And while Nygren expressed sincere remorse to the court, he sentenced her to 13 years in prison and 17 of extended supervision.
“Cassie people love you, people feel sorry for you and I do too. But someone has got to tell you that enough is enough,” the judge said.
Nygren was in custody in the Brown County Jail over 800 days. That time will be credited to her sentence. Her father, Representative John Nygren, authored a number of bills called “The Hope Agenda” aimed at fighting drug addiction in Wisconsin.