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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A southwestern Illinois man pleaded guilty during his trial on charges that he drunkenly caused a 2010 two-vehicle wreck that killed the other driver.

Thirty-six-year-old James Griesbaum of Aviston pleaded guilty to two felony DUI-related counts.

A spokeswoman for the Madison County State's Attorney's Office tells the Belleville News-Democrat that Griesbaum will be sentenced to simultaneous prison terms of three years and six months in prison on each count.

Authorities contend that Griesbaum was drunk in February 2010 in Madison County when his pickup truck collided head-on with a vehicle driven by Barbara Green of Trenton. She died.

Griesbaum's trial began Tuesday with jury selection and was to have gone to the jury for deliberation as early as Friday.

Griesbaum's sentencing date was not immediately set.

Published in Local News

An Arnold grandmother is headed to prison for being drunk when she caused an accident that killed her granddaughter.

Theresa Fortner will spend  12 and-a-half years in prison. Fortner was driving her 20-month-old granddaughter on Interstate 55 when she crashed into a street sign, a house, a tree and a fence. The car's black box showed she was traveling nearly 70 miles an hour and never applied the brakes before the accident.

Fortner's blood alcohol content was almost triple the legal limit.

 

Published in Local News

   BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The mother of a metro-east teenager killed a car crash is free on bond after being accused of giving her son beer and whiskey before the accident.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports 39 year old Ginger Zehner-Denton of Mascoutah surrendered this week on a charge filed earlier this month that accuses her of unlawful delivery of alcohol.

   Her 18 year old son, Stephen Zehner, died in a Jan. 26 crash. He was a senior at Belleville West High School.

   A 16 year old passenger in the car he was driving was seriously injured and hospitalized for three months.

   Zehner-Denton's attorney says he's not commenting publicly about the case.

   The felony is punishable by up to three years in prison.

 
Published in Local News
Clayton, MO - AP - A St. Louis County woman has been sentenced to three years in prison for a drunk-driving accident that killed a bicyclist.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 31-year-old Emily Hagan of Kirkwood will be eligible for parole after serving about one year in prison.

Authorities say Hagan's blood-alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit when she rear-ended and killed Samuel Scott last year in University City. The 19-year-old was riding his bike home from the pizza shop where he worked as a cook.

Hagan was charged with first-degree manslaughter. In a plea deal reached Friday, a judge reduced the manslaughter charge from a Class B to a Class C felony.
Published in Local News
The Illinois State Police are ramping up enforcement patrols in St. Clair and Madison Counties in March.

District 11 Commander, Captain Brad Parsons said Sunday that the Nighttime Enforcement Patrols are aimed at getting unsafe drivers off the road. Parsons says alcohol and drug impairment is a significant factor in over 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois, so patrols will especially watch for impaired drivers.

The month-long traffic safety project is funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Published in Local News
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