Breaking News Bar
posted: 11/14/2013 5:57 PM

Guilty plea in Virgil Twp. crash that killed boy, 11

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Benjamin Black

      Benjamin Black

 
 

A Sycamore man pleaded guilty Thursday to aggravated DUI for having heroin in his system when he caused a chain-reaction crash in Virgil in February, killing an 11-year-old boy and severely injuring another person. Benjamin Black, 29, of the 1500 block of Sparkhayes Drive, faces between three and 14 years in prison when sentenced March 20, 2014, by Judge James Hallock.

"Some might view a heroin habit as the self destruction of the user. But this case is much more than that. This case is gut wrenching tragedy," Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

According to prosecutors, Black was headed west on Route 64 in a 1999 Ford Expedition at about 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27 when he rear ended a 1999 Chevy Cavalier, killing Matthew Ranken of Sycamore, who was a back seat passenger.

Teale Noble, a front seat passenger, was severely injured. The car and another vehicle were stopped on Route 64 because of another crash that occurred farther west on Route 64.

Authorities took a urine sample from Black after the crash and it showed the presence of a heroin metabolite, prosecutors said.

In Illinois, if a motorist has the presence of any illegal drugs in their system, they can be held criminally responsible for a fatal crash. The state does not have to prove impairment.

Black on Thursday entered a cold plea, in which a defendant leaves it up to a judge to decide punishment instead of agreeing with a sentence with prosecutors beforehand.

Prosecutors will present Hallock with aggravating factors, such as Black's previous criminal record, which includes a felony theft conviction from an April 2002 arrest in Geneva and a possession of drug paraphernalia arrest in January 2006 in St. Charles. He served 45 and 18 days, respectively, in jail for those offenses, and received 30 months probation for the felony instead of prison, according to court records.

Black, who was being held on $250,000 bail, also must serve 85 percent of any sentence issued by Hallock.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here