Crime & Courts

Wonder Lake woman gets probation for delivering pills to overdose victim

Sara R. Peters, 34
Sara R. Peters, 34

A 34-year-old Wonder Lake woman was sentenced Thursday to probation for delivering pills to a woman who later died of a drug overdose.

McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt ordered Sara R. Peters to serve two years of probation and six months in the McHenry County Jail for delivery of a controlled substance. Peters will receive credit for the 47 days she already has spent in custody.

In October, a jury acquitted Peters of drug-induced homicide in connection with the death of Harvard resident Deadra D. Block. Jurors did, however, find Peters guilty of delivery of a controlled substance after hearing evidence that Peters sold several 15-milligram oxycodone pills to Block on Dec. 28, 2017. Cellphone records showed that Peters also sold Block drugs Dec. 1, 2017, prosecutors have said.

At a sentencing hearing Thursday afternoon, Peters said health complications have led her to undergo more than 100 surgeries. Keeping up with her medical needs has been a challenge in jail, she said.

“I’m not able to get the medications I need in here,” Peters said.

Her attorney, Henry Sugden, asked the judge to impose a sentence of 18 months on probation, but Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Ladd said Peters’ “lack of accountability” for her actions warranted three to seven years in prison.

“Are you sorry?” Ladd asked Peters on Thursday.

Peters responded that “of course” she was sorry. When Ladd followed his question, wanting to know what specifically she was sorry about, Peters replied, “I’m sorry that I went and grabbed them for her.”

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office approved charges against Peters in March after a police investigation into Block’s death. Officers recovered two pill bottles from Block’s home: one empty bottle of Oxycontin prescribed to Block, and another bottle, containing about 15 pills, with a prescription label for morphine sulfate made out to Peters.

Toxicology results determined Block had more than twice the highest legal therapeutic level of oxycodone in her system when she died.

During the trial, Peters testified that others were involved in the transactions and that Block often reached out to her and others for pills. Having suffered from pain most of her life, Peters knew the pain Block dealt with and was only trying to “help” her, she said.

Ladd criticized the testimony as an attempt to “white-wash” Peters’ involvement in providing Block with the drugs that ultimately killed her.

“This is somebody who dealt drugs,” Ladd said. “This is a drug dealer.”

Block’s daughter, Britney Johnson, wasn’t allowed to present a victim impact statement in court Thursday, since Peters was convicted only of delivery and not of drug-induced homicide. After the hearing, Johnson cried as she spoke about the six children and grandson her mother left behind.

“Life without her everyday is hard enough,” Johnson said.

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