Crime & Courts

Trial begins for woman charged in Harvard resident's 2017 overdose death

Sara Peters
Sara Peters

A jury trial is underway for a 34-year-old woman accused of delivering Oxycodone to a woman who the next day died of a drug overdose.

The trial began Monday with opening statements from McHenry County Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Ladd and defense attorney Hank Sugden. Sugden, who represents Wonder Lake woman Sara Peters, said his client relented in 2017, when an acquaintance reached out to her on Facebook asking for pain medication. Later, during a recorded police interview, Peters admitted to selling pills to Harvard woman Deadra D. Block the morning of Dec. 28, 2017, Ladd said.

“Sara drove at 9:15 a.m. to Harvard ... by 10:15 a.m. Deadra Block is dying on the floor of her apartment,” Ladd said.

Peters was arrested in March 2018 following an inquiry into Block’s death. Investigators determined that Peters arranged on Dec. 28, 2017, to sell Block 25 pills for $13 a piece.

Peters would later tell Harvard police that she sold Block only 13 pills that day. Cellphone records revealed that Peters had also sold Block drugs on Dec. 1, 2017, prosecutors said.

Harvard police officer Edward Kohn testified Monday that authorities 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.

“Sara Peters did not cause the death of Deadra Block,” Sugden told jurors. It’s true that Peters had her own pain pill prescriptions, Sugden said, noting that his client has more than 10 years “of medical problems,” including 107 operations in the past 12 years alone.

The bottle with Peters’ name on it was located on a dresser near the doorway that led to the bathroom where police found Block’s body, body camera footage played in court Monday showed.

The bottle with Block’s name on it was found behind the toilet, Kohn said. The caps were secured on both bottles.

Prosecutors expect to call at least five witnesses Tuesday, when the trial with pick back up at 9 a.m. in McHenry County court.

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