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posted: 3/20/2010 12:01 AM

Bond lowered for driver charged in crash which killed St. Charles man

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  • Reginald Hearon

    Reginald Hearon


Bond was reduced Friday from $500,000 to $70,000 for a Plano man accused of killing a St. Charles man last year in a head-on wreck by driving recklessly and under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

Judge T. Jordan Gallagher granted a defense motion to reduce the bond for Reginald Hearon, 50. Prosecutor Nemura Pencyla had objected to any reduction, and suggested if it was reduced, it be set at $250,000.

Hearon was driving northeast on Fabyan Parkway in Blackberry Township around 5:30 a.m. Oct. 2 when he struck a vehicle driven by Craig Smith, 53, according to prosecutors. Witnesses told police Hearon was speeding and passing in no-passing zones before hitting Smith. Pencyla said Friday that Smith had driven onto the shoulder to try to avoid Hearon.

Hearon is charged with reckless homicide, aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol, aggravated driving under the influence of drugs and aggravated driving under the combined influence of drugs and alcohol.

Hearon was on his way to work as a guard at the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles. He has since retired from that position.

In asking for the bond reduction, attorney Richard Irvin said Hearon has substantial ties to family in the area and is not a flight risk. Hearon cannot drive, must wear an alcohol-monitoring device and submit to random drug tests.

Irvin argued against allegations Hearon was under the influence of illegally obtained codeine, saying medical workers may have given Hearon the drug to relieve the pain of bones broken in the crash. Pencyla called that argument "specious" and said there are no indications in Hearon's medical records that he received the narcotic. He also didn't tell paramedics or doctors about any prescription for the drug, Pencyla said, leading prosecutors to believe the drug was obtained illegally.

Hearon's wife, Jackie, testified she was only able to raise $7,000 toward his release. The Rev. Roy R. Brown testified Hearon has been a member of Progressive Baptist Church of Aurora for five years, attends Sunday services, Wednesday Bible study and a biweekly men's group.

Pencyla said Hearon told police he had consumed a "couple of drinks" with dinner the night before the crash, but that a blood test taken at the hospital after the accident showed he had a blood-alcohol concentration "in the low .07s." A driver is considered intoxicated at .08, but can be convicted of DUI with lower levels if driving is impaired.