From the Peoria Pantagraph:
An East Peoria woman was sentenced to seven years in prison Wednesday for aggravated driving under the influence related to a single-vehicle crash that killed her husband.
Juanita Webster, 38, sobbed loudly after Judge William Yoder imposed the sentence.
Webster was behind the wheel on June 16, 2017, when she lost control of the vehicle in which Andre Webster was a passenger. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Interstate 55 north of Bloomington.
In his decision to impose a prison sentence, Yoder cited Webster’s criminal history that included convictions for drunken driving in 2012 and domestic battery of her husband in 2016.
Yoder said he found no extraordinary circumstances involved in the crash that would allow him to consider probation over prison as required by state law.
Defense lawyer Matthew Koetters argued that the testimony from Webster’s relatives, including her three children, illustrated the hardship they have suffered since their mother’s incarceration. The defendant’s two sons, ages 18 and 13, and daughter, now 12, said they needed their mother at home.
The children, who exchanged emotional goodbyes with their mother after the hearing, are living with a disabled grandfather and a family friend near Chicago.
In her statement to the judge, Webster’s words were nearly drowned out by her sobs.
“I’m suffering every day. I lost my husband I’m still in love with. … I don’t have anyone to take care of my kids, judge,” said Webster.