The Chicago DUI Law Blog - Find a Chicago DUI Attorney

Teenager Pleads Guilty To Fatal DUI

It's not technically a plea bargain, since his so-called "blind" guilty plea was made without the benefit of a sentencing agreement. That means the prosecution has not yet agreed on a sentence for 18-year-old Kevin Schuh, who was charged with drunk driving in an accident that killed 15-year-old pedestrian Monika Skrzypkowski (Daily Herald).

Schuh pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated DUI causing an accident or death, failure to report an accident causing great bodily harm or death and making a false police report. Although he already has pleaded guilty, he could be sentenced to as many as 29 years in prison.

That means this young man might be 47 years old before he tastes freedom again, depending of course on how he's sentenced.

A partial transcript of his hearing illustrates how the judge presiding over his arraignment wanted to be absolutely sure Schuh knew what he was doing when he entered his plea, as quoted in the aforementioned Daily Herald article:

"If you're sent to prison, there's a possibility your sentences will be served consecutively," said [Cook County Circuit Court Judge John] Scotillo, while Schuh's mother sobbed quietly in the gallery.

Again, Schuh indicated he understood.

"Is it your desire to plead guilty today?" asked Scotillo.

"Yes sir," said Schuh.

"Are you sure?" asked Scotillo.

"Yes sir," said Schuh.

Shuh admitted to driving drunk on Dec. 6, 2008, and hitting Skrzypkowki as she crossed the street to wait for her parents to pick her up from her boyfriend's birthday party. The victim's mother has attended every court appearance by Schuh, holding a large photo of her deceased daughter.

One witness is a 24-year-old acquaintance of Schuh's who bought vodka and beer for the teenager. He also told investigators that he warned Schuh against driving but was ignored. Schuh's counsel, Illinois DUI attorney Barry Sheppard, told reporters that Schuh's acceptance of responsibility is "a step toward total rehabilitation."

Sentencing commences on Feb. 17 in Rolling Meadows.