Reginald Hearon, a 50-year-old former guard at the St. Charles Illinois Youth Center, pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and aggravated DUI for a 2008 crash that killed a St. Charles resident, according to the St. Charles Republican. He worked at IYC for 26 years before retiring as soon as charges were filed against him.
The reckless homicide charge carries a possible sentence of two to five years in prison and one year of supervised release. The aggravated DUI charge, meanwhile, carries a much stiffer sentence of three to 14 years in prison plus two years of supervised release.
Reginald Hearon entered his guilty plea last Thursday, with Illinois DUI lawyer Richard Irvin by his side. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Nov. 17; Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Neimura Pencyla said they will seek jail time.
Neimura Pencyla took the opportunity to read the facts in the case that would have been presented to a jury had there been a trial. The prosecutor said that on Oct. 2, 2008, the SUV belonging to 53-year-old Craig Smith was struck by Reginald Hearon's full-sized van as both men were on their way to work at 5:15 a.m.
He said he was running late to work as he weaved in and out of traffic and skidded into the side of Craig Smith's vehicle. One witness said he saw a "big explosion."
A blood test taken immediately after the crash showed that the defendant (and now convict) had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.082 percent, just above the legal limit. His blood also contained traces of the opiates morphine and codeine, although Neimura Pencyla said he had no prescription for the drugs.
Illinois DUI attorney Richard Irvin said he would fight for a lesser sentence on behalf of his client, saying he believes the facts of the case are "extraordinary." He declined to elaborate to reporters.