Crime & Courts

Wonder Lake woman found guilty of delivering oxycodone, not guilty of homicide

Sara Peters
Sara Peters

A Wonder Lake woman was found not guilty of drug induced homicide Wednesday, but guilty of delivering oxycodone to a woman who died from a fatal overdose in 2017.

Sara Peters, 34, a married mother of three, immediately was taken into custody of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department after the verdicts were read. She faces 3 to 7 years when sentenced Nov. 20.

During the jury trial, prosecutors said Peters sold 25 15-milligram oxycodone pills to Deadra D. Block on Dec. 28, 2017.

Block, described in court as a pill addict whom Peters met at a Barrington pain clinic, took 10 of the 25 pills Peters delivered and died in front of her husband and grandchild, prosecutors said.

Peters took the stand in her defense Wednesday and minimized her connection to Block’s death. She said others were involved in the transactions and Block often reached out to her and others for pills.

Peters said she has had more than 100 surgeries and procedures following a failed gastric bypass operation in 2011 and takes dozens of medications daily. She said that, having suffered from pain most of her life, she knew the pain Block dealt with and was only trying to “help” her.

“I know what it is like to be in pain,” Peters said. “I am in a lot of pain every day. I felt bad for her. I wanted to help her.”

But Assistant State’s Attorney Robert Ladd said he was not going to “sugarcoat” the circumstances, repeating back to her, “You sold her” the pills.

Peters also testified that Block paid $80 for 15 pills. Prosecutors refuted that testimony and said that, in fact, Block paid $180 for 25 pills and immediately ingested 10 of them, which led to her death.

In closing statements, Peters’ defense attorney Henry Sugden maintained that there were other people involved whom Block also bought pills from and that Peters only sold her 15 pills. He also said detectives failed in collecting evidence that would have showed Block had been reaching out to other people for drugs.

“No pills [Peters] gave her ever went into her body. The pills delivered that morning are still in that bottle,” Sugden said, pointing to a bottle of pills in the courtroom as evidence.

In closing arguments, Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Combs said Block was an addict and she died even though Peters did not intend for her to die.

“It’s sad, but it’s true,” Combs said. “Let’s call it what it was; [Peters] sold some pills to make a quick buck, someone died, and she got caught. ...[Block] was an addict. [Peters] is an opportunist.”

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