The fiancée of a Forest Park bicyclist, who was killed last summer in a hit-and-run crash while crossing Harlem Avenue, is fearful that the driver of the car that ran into her betrothed on the night of June 1, 2014 will not serve any jail time.
Bob Skolnik, Fiancee of Hit-and-Run Victim Fears Plea Deal, Forest Park Review, 3 March 2015
Exactly. Unbelievable. No justice at all.
I found two other cases over which Judge Paula Daleo presided where drunk or distracted drivers were found not guilty. In one case, a pedestrian was severely injured. In the other case, a pedestrian was killed.
Bob Uphues, Woman not guilty in Riverside distracted driving case, Riverside Brookfield Landmark, 31 January 2012, http://www.rblandmark.com/News/Articles/1-31-2012/Woman-not-guilty-...
LeeAnn Shelton, Sheriff’s deputy acquitted of fatal Franklin Park crash, Voices (Chicago Sun Times), 25 August 2014, http://voices.suntimes.com/news/breaking-news/sheriffs-deputy-acqui...
I have no idea if this truly constitutes a pattern; I have no idea how many of these sorts of cases she's presided over, nor how she might have ruled. Still, I find these three cases and rulings sad and discouraging.
Good investigation. It seems to me that this judge is unable to distinguish between a speeding ticket and a completely reckless act that leaves bodies scattered all over the roadway. Maybe she thinks that only people driving cars are entitled be anywhere near roads. Here's some info on the drunk sheriff's deputy case:
"Cook County Sheriff's Deputy Jamie T. O'Malley, 37, of Franklin Park faces aggravated DUI charges for a fatal accident that occurred early Sunday morning, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. After leaving a party, O'Malley struck and killed 41-year-old Marcial Marias-Quevedo at 1:43 a.m.
Police arrived to find an officer that smelled like alcohol, who stated "Oh God, I hope I didn't kill this guy." His truck was in the middle of the road, with front-end and hood damage.
He told his fellow officers that he has only had "two beers." He then reportedly failed multiple field sobriety tests before consenting to blood and urine tests. One and a half hours after the accident, his blood-alcohol content was 0.105 percent.
O'Malley is facing a Class 2 felony aggravated DUI charge. The punishment for such an offense could be anywhere from 3 to 14 years in prison. When he is released, he'll face two years of driver's license suspension. As for his former profession, it's unlikely that the Sheriff's Department would reemploy a convicted felon.
He might have a long-shot defense due to his not-extremely high BAC. If he had just left a party, and had just consumed large amounts of alcohol, he could try the rising BAC defense. Essentially, he'd be arguing that at the time of the accident, his BAC was below the legal limit. By the time they tested him, his BAC had risen more than the 0.25 difference between his measured amount and the legal limit of 0.08.
Then again, the failed field sobriety tests and his apparent intoxication at the time of the other officers' arrival provide evidence that could counter such a defense. His best bet seems to be hoping and praying for a favorable plea bargain."
I'd like to know how this judge managed to acquit on that one.
Walking or riding a bicycle is an indication that your socioeconomic status is such that you are contributing little to society. The injury or death of a few pedestrians and cyclists is an inconsequential price to pay for the efficiency and convenience of the car-driving majority.