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Article updated: 3/1/2013 2:21 PM

Guilty plea in 2010 North Aurora drunk hit and run death

By Harry Hitzeman

An Aurora man faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to driving drunk and killing a woman in North Aurora in October 2010.

Lee Roy Patterson III, 33, of the 1000 block of of Assell Avenue, pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated DUI and failure to report an accident that resulted in a death, according to Kane County court records.

Doreen Cardenas, 22, of Cicero, was killed after she was struck at about 2:30 a.m. Oct. 25, 2010, while standing on the 0-99 block of Grant Street. Pedro Navarro, her friend was walking her to her car, also was seriously injured.

At a coroner's hearing in March 2011, a North Aurora police officer testified that authorities found a hubcap, mirror and plastic trim at the scene -- pieces that matched Patterson's vehicle.

At the hearing. police also said that Patterson told them he didn't realize he hit people. He thought he sideswiped another vehicle, became scared and kept driving.

Police said Patterson had a blood alcohol level of .036 after being tested later that day at 9 a.m.; The legal threshold in Illinois is .08, but prosecutors could have argue in court that Patterson would have had a much higher BAC when the crash occurred six hours earlier.

Prosecutors dismissed other additional charges after Patterson entered a "cold plea," admitting guilt without having an agreed-upon sentence.

Judge James Hallock accepted the plea from Patterson, who is free on bond, and will sentence him on May 9.

The most serious falony carries a prison term of four to 15 years, but probation also is an option.

A message left with Patterson's defense attorney, Glenn Sowa, was not immediately returned.

Relatives of Navarro and Cardenas have sued for damages Patterson and Thompson Plumbing, a work van of they say Patterson was driving at the time.

The case is next due in court on April 1, records show.

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