Cecil Conner was recently found guilty on two counts of aggravated DUI in the fatal car accident that killed 5-year-old Michael Langford Junior, reported ABC 7 Chicago News. Conner had admitted to driving drunk during the trial in Will County, but his defense attorney Jeff Tomczak argued that Chicago Heights Officer Chris Felicetti made his client get behind the wheel even though he was clearly inebriated.
"While we disagree with the jury's verdict, we respect it," said Tomczak. "As experienced trial lawyers we know that whatever the jury decides is in our system of justice, that is the verdict."
Designated driver Kathie LaFond, Conner's former girlfriend, was originally driving the vehicle when Officer Felicetti pulled her over and arrested her for driving with a suspended license. Conner's blood alcohol level that night was almost three times above the legal limit of 0.08 percent, and both he and LaFond testified that they had warned the officer about Conner being drunk.
But Felicetti had supposedly given Conner the keys to the car anyway and ordered him to drive home. The defendant later crashed the vehicle, and Langford, who had been sitting in the back seat of the car, was immediately killed. Will County State attorney James Glasgow contended that the defendant "knew exactly what he was doing, 28 minutes after he left the police presence when the accident occurred."
As a result of the jury's verdict, Cecil Conner now faces a maximum of 14 years in prison.
To learn more about your legal options after having been arrested or charged with driving under the influence in Chicago, contact an experienced attorney who can explain your legal rights and evaluate your case.