Chicago Man Sentenced for Fatal DUI Accident

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The Sun-Times Media has reported that Cecil Conner (24) was sentenced today in Will County Court to 9 ½ years in prison for a fatal DUI crash that claimed the life of his girlfriend’s 5 year old son last May of 2010. Conner was facing from three to 14 years in prison after being convicted of two counts of aggravated DUI. Chicago accident and injury attorneys Zneimer & Zneimer p.c. have handled cases involving auto accidents, with excellent results for their clients. They can help give you peace of mind by dealing with the insurance companies and medical care providers first hand.

Apparently Conner’s girlfriend Kathie LaFond was originally driving Conner and the child Michael Langford Jr. (5) home because Conner was too intoxicated. They were driving home from Conner’s cousin’s party in Chicago Heights. In a surprising turn of events, they were pulled over in Chicago Heights and Kathie was arrested for driving without a valid license. The officer then told Conner to drive himself and the child home. The officer was completely unaware that Conner was too drunk to drive. Conner proceeded to drive home and crashed his red Chevrolet Cavalier into a tree, through a fence, and into another tree. Little Michael Langford was reportedly sleeping in the back seat of the car at the time of the accident.

The trial had been delayed because Conner’s attorney had requested a new trial. He wanted a new trial because he was not given recordings of telephone conversations between Conner’s and Kathie while she was in jail. He also felt the trial was flawed because he was restricted from calling two witnesses, Kathie LaFond, and Jennifer Tartt (Conner’s friend), who he felt could have testified on behalf of Conner’s character. The judge rejected the request for a new trial, stating that he did not think the recordings would have provided any new information. Conner’s defense attorney even asked for the recordings after the trial was over, but his request was denied by the Illinois Supreme Court.

Michael Langford Jr.’s father says that in time he may be able to forgive Conner’s actions, but that Conner’s thoughtless and severely careless actions make it extremely hard for him to do. Michael Langford Sr. asked the judge for a heavy sentence. It seems as though whenever there is an auto accident caused by a drunk driver, the driver is never the one to die. It is always an innocent life that ends up paying the price. While Conner did make an effort to get home by calling people, he should have just admitted to the officer that he was too drunk to drive. Also, if Kathie was sober, she should have told the arresting officer that her boyfriend was too drunk to drive. This tragedy could have definitely been avoided in so many different ways. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, feel free to contact Chicago accident injury attorneys Zneimer & Zneimer p.c. for a free personal injury consultation.