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updated: 2/13/2013 2:52 PM

Lake Villa police chief's son rejects plea deal, attorney quits

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  • Robert Roth

    Robert Roth


The son of the Lake Villa police chief has rejected a plea agreement in an alcohol-related crash, and his case is scheduled to go to trial next month.

However, before that can happen, Robert Roth will need to hire a new attorney after his lawyer resigned in Lake County court Wednesday.

Roth, 23, of the 20000 block of San Rem Avenue in Venetian Village in unincorporated Lake County, is charged with six counts of aggravated driving under the influence causing great bodily harm after police say he was drunk when he slammed his SUV into a Lake Villa tree in June, injuring three passengers.

Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Robert Money would not provide details about the deal rejected by Roth, except to say it would have involved periodic imprisonment and probation.

After turning down the plea deal and letting Lake County Judge Brian Hughes set the trial for March 11, Roth's defense attorney Steven Simonian returned to the courtroom about 15 minutes later and withdrew as attorney of record, Money said.

Hughes has given Roth until Feb. 19 to hire a new attorney.

If convicted, Roth faces up to 12 years in prison, but could also be sentenced up to 30 months' supervision and face a fine of up to $25,000, Money said.

Simonian and Roth did not comment about the proceedings Wednesday. Roth remains free on bond after posting 10 percent of $10,000 bail.

Police said Roth lost control of his 2006 Chevrolet Trailblazer and struck a tree at 12:51 a.m. on June 14. Four people -- including Roth -- were taken to Advocate Condell Medical in Libertyville Center following the accident and later released.

Authorities said Roth had a blood alcohol content of .098 after the crash. Prosecutors allege Roth indicated he was "the police chief's son" when interviewed by officers at the scene.

Roth was initially charged with misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence of alcohol and reckless driving, but those charges were upgraded to felonies in August.

Police Chief Ron Roth has said he immediately delegated the handling of the case to other officers in his department to avoid any conflict of interest.

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