Rockford woman to serve 15 years for causing two overdose deaths

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — 54-year-old Karen Hernandez was sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday for providing drugs which killed two people.

Rockford Police said that on March 16th, 2018, around 4:15 a.m., they were called to the 1300 block of Blake Street, where three people were taken to the hospital for suffering drug overdoses.

Justine Wentz died at the hospital.

Then, at 6:30 a.m., police were called to the 3200 block of Westgate Parkway where Brock Palchik was suffering an overdose. He was taken to the hospital where he died three days later.

Hernandez and two other people, Catreavia Woodard, 30, and Cortavious Williams, 27, were arrested in a dramatic pursuit on March 28th, 2018.

Rockford Police Narcotics Unit say they spent several weeks investigating a lead regarding drug sales in the area of 15th Avenue and 11th Street. 

Officers identified a set of suspects and attempted to arrest them. As detectives approached them in a black GMC Yukon, which was parked in a nearby driveway, the driver attempted to flee by backing into one of the approaching police cruisers.

The Yukon then accelerated, hitting a second police car before driving head-on into a third.

Police officers were able to arrest all three suspects.

Woodard was charged with two counts of Delivery of Cocaine, Conspiracy to Commit Delivery of Cocaine, Attempt Delivery of Cocaine, and Criminal Damage to State Property.

Willaims was cited for possession of marijuana and released.

At the time, Hernandez was charged with Delivery of Cocaine and Conspiracy to Commit Delivery of Cocaine.

Those charges were later upgraded to include Drug Induced Homicide and Delivery of a Controlled Substance.

Hernandez pleaded guilty to two counts of Drug Induced Homicide and was sentenced to 15 years on each count. The sentences will be served concurrently.


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