Trial underway for Crystal Lake man charged with drug-induced homicide tied to woman’s fatal overdose

Drug-induced homicide is a felony typically punishable by six to 30 years in prison

The trial of a Crystal Lake man charged in a woman’s fatal overdose continued Friday with police and forensic science testimonies.

A trial by judge began Wednesday in the case of Sabastian Zarbock, a 24-year-old man charged with drug-induced homicide and possession of a controlled substance. Drug-induced homicide is a felony typically punishable by six to 30 years in prison.

Zarbock and another man, 29-year-old Rufus McGee, were arrested following the May 28, 2019, death of 22-year-old Elgin woman Shannon Finn. McGee has pleaded not guilty to three counts of drug-induced homicide stemming from Finn’s death.

According to charging records, Zarbock is accused of assisting Finn in arranging a heroin deal shortly before she died.

Zarbock initially told officers during a police interview that he called the dealer, who investigators later identified as McGee, from another person’s phone, according to a partial recording of the interview that was played in court Friday. Zarbock later told the officers that another woman contacted the dealer.

Finn, Zarbock and two others then met McGee near a mall in Oak Brook where they purchased the drugs with Finn’s money, according to police testimony.

Although court records cite “high levels of fentanyl” in Finn’s body at the time of her death, a powdery substance recovered during the investigation tested positive only for heroin, forensic scientist Barbara Schuman testified. The sample did show the possible presence of fentanyl, but the data wasn’t conclusive enough for Schuman to identify it in her findings, she said.

Zarbock’s trial is expected to resume at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. Once testimony has concluded, both prosecutors and Zarbock’s attorney, Special Public Defender Thomas Carroll, will provide McHenry County Judge Robert Wilbrandt with their written closing arguments.

Since the case is being heard by a judge rather than a jury, Wilbrandt ultimately will determine the verdict.

Katie Smith

Katie has reported on the crime and courts beat for the Northwest Herald since 2017. She began her career with Shaw Media in 2015 at the Daily Chronicle in DeKalb, where she reported on the courts, city council, the local school board, and business.