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updated: 10/20/2011 10:55 PM

Emotional sentencing for former St. Charles youth guard pushed to Dec. 27

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Tina Smith's life has been a nightmare since her husband Craig was killed in a head-on crash on Oct. 2, 2008, in a no-passing zone along Fabyan Parkway in Blackberry Township while on his way to work in Sugar Grove.

Smith testified in court this week that she saw images of the crash on the TV news and later found out her husband of 30 years and father of their four sons was dead.

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"I am left with a hole in my heart and my life. Holidays are particularly painful. I don't enjoy them. I have many days that I am paralyzed and can hardly breathe," she testified.

Reginald Hearon, 51, a Plano resident and former corrections officer at the St. Charles Youth Center, pleaded guilty last year to causing the crash because he was speeding and late for work.

Hearon faces a sentence of up to 14 years in prison for the aggravated driving under the influence and reckless homicide charges.

Hearon's sentencing has been delayed numerous times and after two days of testimony this week, the matter was continued to Dec. 27 -- the earliest date Judge Karen Simpson was available.

While Hearon, who is free on bond, gets to spend another Thanksgiving and Christmas with his family, the delay further frustrated and angered Smith's relatives.

The four grown children of the 53-year-old St. Charles man also told of their loss this week.

"A little over two years ago, my dad was killed and since then I have been followed by a black cloud. A cloud that has brought resentment, sadness and anger," testified Dan Smith.

"My dad was my guiding light. I looked at him for understanding and advice with everyday life."

Drivers also testified they saw Hearon speeding and blow at least one stop sign.

Hearon's blood alcohol concentration was .083 and his blood contained codeine and morphine, but he told police he only had two drinks the night before.

Defense attorney Richard Irvin said Hearon also took Nyquil for a cold, which could have elevated his BAC.

Hearon's family members said he is now withdrawn, cries a lot and would trade places with Craig Smith if he could.

"I've never seen my dad cry before. He's always been so strong," said Reginald Hearon Jr., a 23-year-old who took two semesters off college to work and help his family pay bills.

"He cries constantly. I've been with this man over 25 years. I've never seen him like this before," testified his wife, Jackie Hearon on Thursday.

If Hearon goes to prison, he must serve 85 percent of any sentence.

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