A Warrenville man is facing a mandatory prison term if convicted of aggravated DUI in a crash that killed Wheaton Warrenville South High School senior Stephanie Pickett, prosecutors said Monday.
Karlos Leath, 31, pleaded not guilty to the charge at his first appearance in front of DuPage County Judge Blanche Hill Fawell. Prosecutors said he faces an enhanced sentencing range of three to 14 years in prison and is not eligible for probation because of his criminal background.
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Pickett's mother fought back tears as Leath entered court with his attorney, LaWanda Phillips, who declined to comment afterward.
Family members of the 18-year-old victim, who lived in the same apartment complex as Leath, also declined to comment outside of court.
Leath was southbound on Shaffner Road near Wheaton when the Ford Explorer he was driving went off the road, crashed into trees on the north side of Mack Road and rolled over about 10:30 p.m. April 25, authorities said.
Pickett, a passenger, died after suffering massive head trauma. Leath was treated at a hospital for minor injuries.
According to court records, Leath has been accused of driving on a suspended license more than a dozen times and has prior arrests on charges of resisting police, criminal damage to property and marijuana possession. He was issued a new license in March, state records show.
Leath, of the 29W500 block of Country Ridge Drive, remained jailed on $1 million bail Monday and would have to post $100,000 to bond out. His next court date is July 3.