Fittest loser
Article updated: 8/13/2013 1:51 PM

Judge tells Fox Lake man to accept deal or go to trial

Anthony Cechini

Anthony Cechini

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A Fox Lake man accused of killing his friend in a crash nearly one year ago was told by a Lake County judge to accept a plea deal or go to trial.

Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes told Anthony Cechini, 24, of the 0 to 100 block of North Lake Drive, that he has until Sept. 16 to accept a plea deal with prosecutors or all deals will be taken off the table.

In doing so, Shanes allowed Cechini's trial to be delayed until Oct. 28. However, Shanes warned it would be the last time he will allow it to be postponed.

Assistant State's Attorney Jason Humke said he would not discuss any plea deals that were offered to Cechini, but stressed he is keeping David Letchinger's family in mind during discussions.

"The family of the victim has remained extremely active in the case," Humke said. "We have spoken with (them) and keep their concerns in mind."

Defense attorney Doug Zeit did not comment after the hearing.

Cechini was indicted by a Lake County grand jury in December on charges of reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence that resulted in death in connection with the Oct. 1 crash that killed Letchinger, 21, of McHenry.

Authorities said Cechini was westbound on the 100 block of Nippersink Road at 4 p.m. when the 2004 Subaru he was driving veered off the road and slammed into a tree near Fox Lake's Lakefront Park.

Letchinger, a passenger in the vehicle, was airlifted to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, where he died. Cechini was taken to the hospital with minor, nonlife threatening injuries.

Following his release from the hospital, Cechini was taken to Lake County jail and charged. He remains free of jail after posting 10 percent of his $250,000 bail.

Both sides are due back in court Sept 12 for a status report.

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