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posted: 3/4/2010 12:01 AM

St. Charles juvenile prison guard charged with DUI, reckless homicide

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  • Reginald Hearon

    Reginald Hearon


A corrections officer at the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles has been charged with reckless homicide relating to an October 2008 crash that killed a St. Charles man.

Reginald Hearon, 50, of Plano, also was charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, aggravated driving under the influence of drugs, and aggravated driving under the combined influence of alcohol and codeine, according to the Kane County State's Attorney's office.

Craig Smith, 53, died in the two-vehicle crash Oct. 2 in Blackberry Township.

A grand jury indicted Hearon Tuesday and he surrendered Wednesday to the Kane County Sheriff's Department.

Hearon was being held on $500,000 bond at the Kane County jail. His request for a reduced bond will be heard March 10.

If convicted of the most serious charges, Hearon faces between three and 14 years in prison, prosecutor Nemura Pencyla said.

Pencyla would not explain why it took 17 months for the charges to be brought, saying only that it was "part of a lengthy investigation."

He declined to provide Hearon's blood-alcohol level, but noted that "it is not a .08 case." Pencyla said Hearon did not have a legal prescription for codeine.

Januari Smith, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections, said Hearon is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the case.

Kane County Sheriff's police in 2008 reported Hearon was driving to work on a two-lane stretch of Fabyan Parkway in the vicinity of Hughes Road near Batavia when he attempted to pass vehicles in a posted no-passing zone. His van hit Smith's sport utility vehicle head-on. Smith died at the scene.

A Kane County coroner's jury ruled in December 2008 that Smith's death was a reckless homicide.

Smith's wife has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Hearon. She declined to comment Wednesday.