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.
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.
Read the entire story here: https://www.pantagraph.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/driver-sentenced-to-years-in-dui-crash-that-killed-her/article_28557471-8087-5605-8260-7edc5a1331e4.html
Melissa Hancock, the former television reality star of Little Women Atlanta, was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the drunk driving crash that took the life of Coast Guardsman Petty Officer Second Class Daniel Dill.
According to reports, Hancock drove into oncoming traffic and had a BAC of 0.19, over twice the legal limit.
An Illinois Appellate Court reversed a trial court’s ruling in a fatal DUI crash.
According to the Opinion, the motorist was driving with his children in the back seat. One of his kids tried to hand him a candy wrapper to open. When he momentarily turned his head, his van struck a seven year old boy, who was riding a bicycle and had darted out into traffic between two parked cars. The motorist immediately stopped and ran into the nearby City Hall to get assistance.
The investigating officers testified that they did not observe any indications that the motorist was impaired by either alcohol or drugs. Nevertheless, he was taken to a hospital to provide blood and urine screens. The tests results showed the presence of THC and amphetamines and the motorist was charged with DUI.
A few days later, it was determined that the motorist had not been read the “Warnings to Motorist” form that would advise him of his rights regarding the chemical testing. A second test was then ordered.
The defendant was found guilty and received a sentence of 54 months.
On appeal, the Court noted that there was no probable cause to believe that the motorist was impaired or that he had caused the accident. No citations had been issued, and he was not under arrest at the time of the blood test, as required by Illinois law. As a result, the results of the tests were suppressed and since there was no other evidence to support a finding of guilty, his conviction was reversed.
You can read the opinion here: People v. Hayes, 2018 IL App (5th) 140223 (February 15, 2018) .
According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the victim in the fatal crash was a 29 year old Coast Guardsman, Daniel Dill.
From the Journal-Constitution:
On his wife’s 27th birthday, Daniel Dill was acting as designated driver for her and her friends and was on his way to pick them up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, around 2 a.m. when Hancock, 25, allegedly hit his car head-on while driving on the wrong side of the interstate. He was rushed to the hospital, where doctors determined he had suffered a major spinal cord injury, brain swelling, internal injuries and broken bones.
After doctors revealed his prognosis, Dill’s family made the decision to withdraw care, and he passed away just after midnight on Sunday. Meanwhile, police arrested and charged Hancock with DUI maiming, but the charge may be upgraded to DUI manslaughter, according to a spokeswoman for the commonwealth’s attorney.
Hancock, who was featured on the reality TV series in Season 2, reportedly told a state trooper that she had consumed four mixed drinks at a club an hour before driving. Her blood alcohol content was 0.112 two hours later, and she stands at just 4 feet tall. She was granted a $15,000 bond at a court hearing and was ordered to wear a GPS device that also tracks alcohol intake.