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The County of DuPage
Wheaton, Illinois

Press Release

Contact Information: Director of Communications: 630-407-8160

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Melrose Park Man Sentenced to 18 Years in Drug Induced Homicide

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert B. Berlin announced today that a Melrose Park man has been sentenced to eighteen years in the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) for selling heroin that ultimately led to the overdose death of twenty-six-year-old Naperville resident Marcus Penton. Kevin Liszka, 34 (d.o.b. 8/20/1983) of 1460 N. 1st Avenue, appeared in court this afternoon where Judge George Bakalis handed down the sentence. On March 1, 2018, following approximately half an hour of deliberations and a three-day-long trial, a jury found Liszka guilty of one count of Drug Induced Homicide, a Class X felony punishable by a minimum of six/up to thirty years in the IDOC. He has been held in the DuPage County Jail awaiting trial since his arrest on a bond of $2 million with 10% to apply. 

On February 19, 2015, Penton died from a heroin overdose. An investigation into the death led authorities to a friend of Penton’s, Skyler Sabala as the source of the heroin. Further investigation into the death revealed that Sabala purchased the fatal dose of heroin from Liszka. On October 4, 2016, Sabala entered an agreed plea of guilty to one count of Manufacture or Delivery of a Controlled Substance, a Class 2 Felony, and was sentenced to seven years in the IDOC. 

“This case is yet another very sad reminder that we as a society are still facing a very dangerous and deadly opioid crisis,” Berlin said. “To date this year, DuPage County has suffered thirty-one overdose deaths. With this case, and today’s sentencing, we are again sending the message to drug dealers that if you provide illegal drugs that lead to the death of another person, you will face a significant amount of time in the penitentiary. This morning Mr. Liszka learned that his decision to sell that fatal dose of heroin will land him behind bars for nearly two decades. I would like to thank the Naperville Police Department for their outstanding efforts in identifying Mr. Liszka as the source of the heroin that took Mr. Penton’s life. I would also like to thank Assistant State’s Attorneys Nancy Donahoe and Mandy Meindl for their work in securing a significant prison sentence against this defendant.”

Liszka will be required to serve 75 % of his sentence before being eligible for parole.