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updated: 4/13/2014 6:31 PM

Elgin man charged after car smashes into house

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A 35-year-old Elgin man who went to prison for fighting with emergency crews responding to a 2009 fire at his parents' Elgin home is in trouble again.

James R. Beavers Jr., of the 500 block of Cumberland Trail, was arrested April 4 and charged with driving under the influence after, authorities say, he crashed his girlfriend's car into a house and later lied to police that someone stole the car.

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If convicted of the most severe charge of a false report of vehicle theft, Beavers could face up to seven years in prison. The aggravated DUI charge could result in up to three years in prison for Beavers, who has two previous DUI convictions.

According to an Elgin police report, police were called at 4:15 a.m. April 4 to Division Street and Hill Avenue where a car crashed into a home and the driver ran away.

Officers called the car's owner, who said her boyfriend, Beavers, took the car to go buy cigarettes.

When police found Beavers, he had a different story, saying someone stole the car and he chased the driver and vehicle on foot for a little more than a mile before losing sight of it, police said.

Police saw a white colored powder substance coming from Beavers' left nostril and he told an officer he crushed up Xanax and snorted it, police said.

Beavers also had slurred speech and smelled of alcohol, the report said.

He was being held at the Kane County jail on $150,000 bail and is next due in court Wednesday.

Beavers was acquitted of arson after a summer 2011 trial stemming from a Nov. 19, 2009, house fire but was found guilty of threatening his girlfriend, burning her clothes, aggravated DUI and fighting with rescue personnel who tried to put out the blaze.

A firefighter rescued Beavers' 2-year-old son, who was strapped in a highchair in the kitchen as smoke swirled around him.

Beavers was sentenced to nine years in prison but served half his term because he received day-for-day credit for good behavior while in prison.

Murder verdict upheld: An appellate court recently upheld a guilty verdict from a 2007 murder and townhouse arson in Gilberts.

In its ruling, the panel ruled a Kane County judge did not abuse his discretion in allowing evidence of the state of mind of Karyn Pearson, who was killed by her live-in boyfriend Frank Hill.

Hill was convicted of murdering Pearson, 27, and setting fire to her townhouse the morning of Jan. 9, 2007.

Five of Pearson's co-workers testified about how she was breaking up with Hill and was going to her mother's house because she was scared to go home.

"The trial court admitted decedent's statements to co-workers, emails to friends, and handwritten notes to show decedent's state of mind and to show a possible motive for defendant," the panel wrote.

Hill, now 36, and formerly of Schaumburg, is serving a 90-year sentence.

hhitzeman@dailyherald.com

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