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posted: 11/15/2013 3:32 PM

Some restrictions lifted against teen charged in fatal Gurnee street racing crash

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  • Jeremy A. Betancourt

    Jeremy A. Betancourt


An Antioch Township teen awaiting trial on charges related to an illegal street race that killed a 16-year-old girl will no longer be required to attend weekly court hearings.

A Lake County judge on Friday lifted the requirement for Jeremy Betancourt, 17, to allow him to go to school in Wheeling. Betancourt also was granted a request to attend a weekly church service in Salem, Wis.

However, Lake County Judge Victoria Rossetti told Betancourt he must check in with bond officials before leaving for church, then immediately after he returns home after every Sunday mass.

Defense attorney Jed Stone said Betancourt has enrolled in therapeutic day school in Wheeling, is attending substance abuse counseling on a regular basis, and will begin outpatient services at NICASA Behavioral Health Services.

"Things are going well for Mr. Betancourt while he is out on bond," Rossetti said in court. He is expected to appear in court Dec. 17.

Betancourt, of the 41000 block of North Circle Drive, remains free on $100,000 bail after being charged with aggravated driving under the influence of drugs that resulted in death, reckless homicide and aggravated street racing for his role in the June 24 crash that killed Cynthia Perez, of Antioch.

Betancourt was driving erratically during an illegal street race on Route 120 in Gurnee when his Honda slid into the center median ditch between the eastbound and westbound lanes, went airborne and rolled over, authorities said.

Perez was a back-seat passenger and was not wearing a seat belt. The Antioch High School student fell out the rear window when the vehicle flipped over, authorities said. She was pronounced dead at the scene, while Betancourt and two other passengers were injured.

Betancourt was charged with reckless homicide and aggravated street racing, but charges of aggravated driving under the influence were added after lab tests came back positive for marijuana in his system, officials said.

He was held on $250,000 bail, but the bond was lowered to $100,000 after he enrolled in a Lake Villa substance and behavioral assistance program.

Betancourt was released from the program with positive results and Rossetti placed him on a 24-hour curfew, only allowing him to be out of his home to go to court or treatment programs. He was also ordered to not text, take pictures or post on social media sites while out on bond,

His trial was set for January, but prosecutors and Stone said Friday that it would be delayed.

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