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updated: 12/15/2011 5:29 PM

Wayne man given probation for fatal DUI faces prison

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  • Onofrio Lorusso

      Onofrio Lorusso

 
 

A 20-year-old Wayne man who was sentenced to probation in the drunken driving death of a fellow St. Charles East High School graduate now faces prison time because he was caught at an underage drinking party.

Onofrio J. Lorusso admitted in court Thursday to Judge Timothy Sheldon he violated his probation by attending an underage drinking party Nov. 5 in Des Plaines.

In spring 2010, Lorusso was sentenced to three years of probation and 180 days in the Kane County jail for killing Cameron Godee, 17, of West Chicago. He also was ordered to pay $30,000 restitution.

On June 14, 2009, Lorusso had a blood-alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit when he lost control of his 2005 Ford Explorer on a residential street in St. Charles and crashed into a mailbox and two trees, killing the front-seat passenger, Godee, and injuring two others.

The crash happened a week after both Lorusso and Godee graduated from St. Charles East, and followed days of celebrating with alcohol at Godee's home while his parents were away, according to testimony.

Lorusso faced up to 14 years in prison for reckless homicide and aggravated DUI, but Sheldon cited "extraordinary circumstances," including Lorusso's remorse and his speeches to schools about the dangers of drinking and driving, as reasons for probation.

In court Thursday, defense attorney Gary Johnson said that other than the Nov. 5 ticket, his client had done a "stellar" job of fulfilling his three years probation.

Johnson declined to comment after the proceedings.

A message left with Des Plaines police was not immediately returned.

Lorusso is next due in court Feb. 9, when Sheldon can sentence him to up to 14 years in prison for the aggravated DUI offense. More probation also is an option.

Relatives of Godee discovered Lorusso's arrest while reading a weekly newspaper in Des Plaines and reported it to Kane County prosecutors.

Kathryn Sullivant, who is Godee's aunt, said she was "sickened" to learn of Lorusso's actions.

"It doesn't appear to us that he's taking any of this seriously," Sullivant said.

Another one of Godee's aunts, who also attended Thursday's hearing but did not give her name, suggested Lorusso needed time behind bars now as a result of the violation.

At a sentencing hearing in May 2010, prosecutors pushed for a 10-year sentence for Lorusso.

"I don't believe our position has changed," said Assistant State's Attorney Kelly Orland. "(Lorusso) agreed that he in fact committed that violation."

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