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updated: 12/3/2012 2:35 PM

Judge clears way for trial to begin in crash that killed Grayslake woman

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  • Donald Mischke, 56 of Lisle, will go to trial in Lake County on Monday.

      Donald Mischke, 56 of Lisle, will go to trial in Lake County on Monday.

 
 

A Lisle man will face a jury next week after a Lake County judge ruled Monday that his rights were not violated when he was arrested following a fatal crash nearly two years ago.

Donald Mischke, 56, was properly read his Miranda rights and was not hindered by medication prior to being questioned by police following the high-speed crash that killed 25-year-old Elisha Clark of Grayslake in 2010.

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Because of those findings, Lake County Judge Mark Levitt ruled the Lisle man's videotaped confession should be admissible in court.

The ruling opens the door for Mischke's first-degree murder trial to begin Monday, Dec. 10.

"The defendant clearly understood his rights," Levitt said in court. "The defendant was compliant and did not appear to be uncomfortable. Therefore, the defendant's motion to suppress has been denied."

Lake County prosecutors said Mischke was fleeing Waukegan police after an officer caught him breaking into a Target store at Lewis and Sunset avenues in Waukegan about 2 a.m. on Dec. 22, 2010.

Once the officer turned on the emergency lights, Mischke drove off at a high rate of speed, then turned left onto Green Bay Road, Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Reginald Matthews said.

Police broke off the chase because of the volume of traffic on Green Bay Road, Matthews said, but Mischke was still traveling at high speeds when he struck Clark's car.

Clark, 25, the mother of an 8-year-old son, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

Mischke had cocaine in his system at the time of the crash, authorities said.

He was originally charged with reckless homicide, aggravated driving under the influence of drugs and aggravated fleeing and eluding, but prosecutors added the first-degree murder charge after presenting the case to a grand jury in 2011.

Matthews said the law allows the murder charge because Mischke was in the act of committing a felony when Clark was killed.

Mischke's attorney, Christopher Lombardo of Waukegan, did not comment after Monday's court session.

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