Date: Thursday, January 24, 2019
January 24th, 2019
State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross
Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross announces that a Rockford woman has been indicted for selling drugs to two individuals that resulted in their deaths.
On March 16th, 2018, around 4:15am, Rockford Police were called to 1300 Block of Blake Street for a possible overdose. Officers found three victims who were transported to local hospitals. One woman, later identified as Justine Wentz, was pronounced deceased. An autopsy conducted by the Winnebago County Coroner’s Office determined that Wentz died as a result of a controlled substance overdose.
Also on March 16th, 2018, at approximately 6:30am, Rockford Police were called to the 3200 Block of Westgate Parkway for an unresponsive male. The victim, who was later identified as Brock Palchik was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced deceased three days later. The Winnebago County Coroner’s Office found that the victim died as a result of a drug overdose.
Rockford Police Narcotics and Violent Crime Detectives conducted a follow up investigation which was reviewed by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office. As a result, the defendant, Karen E. Hernandez (D.O.B. 7/6/1965) was charged and recently indicted by a Winnebago County Grand Jury. Hernandez faces a bill of indictment for each of the victims. One of the indictments includes two counts of Drug Induced Homicide and two counts of Delivery of a Controlled Substance charges. The other indictment includes one count of Drug Induced Homicide and one count of Delivery of a Controlled Substance.
Drug Induced Homicide is a Class X Felony that is punishable by a sentence of 15-30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by three years of Mandatory Supervised Release.
Delivery of a Controlled Substance is a Class 2 Felony that is punishable by a sentence of 3-7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by two years of Mandatory Supervised Release.
Hernandez is currently being held in the Winnebago County Jail. She is scheduled to appear in court at 1:30pm this afternoon in Courtroom B of the Winnebago County Criminal Justice Center.
The charges are merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Alternative Justice & Outreach Coordinator
Website Developed By: KMK Media Group