Plato Twp. DUI sentencing delayed

Updated 10/14/2011 6:11 PM
  • Eric Barth

    Eric Barth

A sentencing for a former South Elgin man who drove drunk and injured an elderly Hampshire couple was delayed until Oct. 28 because prosecutors want to introduce jailhouse phone recordings in which Eric Barth pledged to drink again and allegedly mocked the victims.

Kane County Judge David Akemann did not rule either way Friday on whether to allow the recordings of Barth, 21, now of Ohio.

Barth pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol causing great bodily harm and could be sentenced from 30 months probation up to a prison term of 12 years, of which he must serve 85 percent.

Barth caused a head-on crash Dec. 29, 2010 at Brier Hill and Plank roads in Plato Township that injured a Hampshire couple. A 70-year-old dog trainer testified earlier this month that her hand was crushed and she's too weak to care for her show dogs. She also sustained a collapsed lung and torn diaphragm.

Assistant State's Attorney Steve Sims said Barth had several jailhouse conversations in which he pledged to drink again and was "mocking" the victims.

Defense attorney Nils von Keudell objected to the tapes, saying he just learned of them Friday afternoon and they are "marginally relevant" to the case.

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