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updated: 10/7/2013 1:48 PM

Plea deal talks continue in fatal Fox Lake crash

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  • Anthony Cechini

    Anthony Cechini


A defense attorney for a Fox Lake man accused of killing his friend in a 2012 alcohol-fueled crash said he is hopeful a plea deal is still possible, even though his client is held in jail on new criminal charges.

Attorney Doug Zeit told Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes in court Monday that a negotiated plea should be ready when Anthony Cechini, 25, of 0-100 block of Northlake Drive, returns to the courtroom Oct. 18.

"We are confident we can get the negotiation worked out on the first charge," Zeit said.

Cechini is held in Lake County jail on $1 million bail after violating a previous bond he received after being charged with five counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol that resulted in death following a crash in Fox Lake on Oct. 1, 2012.

Authorities said Cechini was behind the wheel of his 2004 Subaru and heading west in the 100 block of Nippersink Road when his car lost control and hit a tree, killing passenger David Letchinger, 21, of McHenry.

Authorities said the two friends and an unidentified third victim had been drinking at a Fox Lake bar when they hopped into Cechini's car prior to the crash. Authorities said Cechini's blood alcohol was .15 percent at the time of the accident.

Cechini was indicted by a Lake County grand jury on five counts of aggravated DUI resulting in death, five counts of aggravated DUI that resulted in bodily harm, and one count of reckless homicide in connection with the crash. He was able to post 10 percent of a $500,000 bond to be released from jail, authorities said.

Cechini was free on bond for 11 months and was days away from a negotiated plea agreement when he was arrested by Fox Lake Police on Sept. 6 for attacking an ex-girlfriend, authorities said.

The woman told police she went to Cechini's residence to talk, but he slapped her in the face, choked her, grabbed her body, and "body slammed" her when she tried to leave. Authorities said bruises were visible on her face, neck, and arms.

Cechini was arrested and charged with single counts of domestic battery and unlawful restraint.

Following his second arrest, Cechini's bail was increased to $1 million, of which he must post 10 percent.

Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Jason Humke said he was not allowed to discuss any negotiations.

"It sounds like we'll know more on the (October) 18th," he said. "Either way, we are ready to go to trial on the (October) 28th."

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