Trial for Antioch Township man in illegal street race delayed
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The trial of an Antioch Township man facing charges in the death of a high school student during an illegal street race has been delayed until March.
Jeremy Betancourt, now 18, of the 41000 block of Circle Drive, remains free from Lake County jail after posting the required 10 percent of his $100,000 bail. Betancourt is still under a strict curfew while awaiting trial on charges of aggravated driving under the influence of drugs that resulted in death, reckless homicide and aggravated street racing.
Defense attorney Jed Stone asked for the trial delay while he meets with Lake County prosecutors on a negotiated resolution to the case.
Neither Stone nor prosecutors would discuss the settlement after the court hearing Tuesday.
Betancourt was driving erratically during a June 24 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.
Cynthia Perez, 16, a junior at Antioch High School, was not wearing a seat belt while sitting in the back seat of the vehicle when the crash happened. She fell out the rear window when the vehicle flipped over, and was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.
Betancourt and two other passengers in the car -- one of whom was Perez's boyfriend -- were injured in the crash. All three were treated and released from Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
Betancourt was initially charged with reckless homicide and aggravated street racing, but the aggravated driving under the influence charge was later added after lab tests came back positive for marijuana in his system, officials said.
He was initially held on $250,000 bail, but bond was lowered to $100,000 after he was enrolled in a Lake Villa substance and behavioral assistance program.
Betancourt has since been released from the treatment center, but he is on a 24-hour curfew at his home except to attend school, court, and drug treatment programs.
His trial was initially scheduled for Jan. 6, but was postponed Tuesday until March 31. He is due back in court Jan. 23.
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