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McHenry man sent to prison for 6 years in connection with 2020 fatal overdose

A 30-year-old McHenry man was sentenced to six years in prison on Friday after he pleaded guilty to delivering the illegal drugs that resulted in another’s death in 2020.

Stanley Rzepka entered a negotiated plea of guilty to a Class 2 felony charge of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance containing heroin.

In exchange for his plea, a more serious charge of Class X drug induced homicide was dismissed, which carries a prison term of six to 30 years.

He is required to serve one year of mandatory supervised release and will receive credit for time served in jail of 569 days. He would have been required to pay a fine of $2,815, but this was waived due to him being indigent and in county jail since his arrest in August 2020.

McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt agreed with Rzepka’s defense attorney, Assistant Public Defender Kim Messer, that the “very sad” crime was the result of the use or abuse of drugs or alcohol. Wilbrandt said he will recommend to Illinois Department of Corrections that Rzepka be enrolled in a substance abuse program while in prison.

Rzepka delivered the fatal dose of heroin on or about May 31, 2020, to Sean Steinberg. Steinberg later was found dead in a residence in the 2500 block of Birchwood Ave. in unincorporated McHenry, according to police and the indictment on file in the McHenry County courthouse.

During the sentencing hearing, Jessica Barrera, Steinberg’s sister, tearfully read a statement saying she is “angry” and that six years is not long enough for Rzepka to be in prison.

She said the two men had grown up together, were friends, and she hopes that while in prison Rzepka thinks about what he has done that caused her brother’s death and hurt so many.

“I hope you think about him, I hope you change because your actions changed the lives of others forever,” she said.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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