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Charges may be filed in heroin death

First fatality for drug court program, counseling offered to other participants

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012 1:05 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012 2:56 a.m. CDT

DIXON – Drug-induced homicide charges may be filed in the death of a Lee County drug court participant who police suspect overdosed on heroin.

Preston W. McMunn, 32, of Dixon, was found dead Sunday morning at a home in the 900 block of Douglas Avenue.

It is the first fatality reported since the program started 7 years ago.

“He was a very good person who was taking his sobriety very seriously,” drug court coordinator Staci Stewart said. “I think one thing that’s very important to remember is that the power of addiction is something we can never underestimate.”

Police are waiting for toxicology reports, which could take 2 to 4 weeks, to determine the exact cause of McMunn’s death, Lt. Clay Whelan said.

They also are talking to witnesses, trying to decide if charges will be filed, Whelan said.

“Pursuant to the death investigation, charges of drug-induced homicide could potentially be lodged if we can pinpoint who gave [the drugs] to him.”

Police were called to the home just before 10 a.m. Sunday. Several people were there, and police found a “trace amount” of suspected heroin, Whelan said.

McMunn was dead in the bathroom, Whelan said. He declined to say whether police found any drugs or paraphernalia near his body, or what was happening at the house prior to McMunn’s death.

He may have died an hour or 2 before police found him, but Whelan did not know an exact time of death, he said.

Police said McMunn sold about $70 worth of heroin to an informant in January and was arrested in March. He was accepted into the drug court program June 11.

Drug court staff, participants, and treatment providers are “deeply saddened” by McMunn’s death, Stewart said.

Staff has contacted other participants and is offering grief counseling for those who need it, she said.

In 2010, Francisco Rubio, of Dixon, was charged with drug-induced homicide related to the overdose death of his cousin, Jose Reynoso, 22, of La Porte, Ind., in September 2009.

He pleaded guilty to delivery of less than 5 grams of heroin in May 2010 and was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison.

McMunn, who owned and operated Fast and Fair Computer Repair in Dixon, was the son of Ken and the late Lorraine (Helle) McMunn. He attended Dixon High School and Sauk Valley Community College and later received his degree as an administrator technician.

Among others, he is survived by two children, Brooklynn and Logan.

His obituary appears on page A4.

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