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Article updated: 10/18/2013 4:58 PM

Driver in fatal DUI will be sentenced, wed on same day

Karlos Leath

Karlos Leath

 
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The honeymoon won't be anytime soon for a DuPage County jail inmate who's getting married the same day he's sentenced for a deadly DUI crash.

Karlos Leath, 32, of Warrenville, faces a mandatory prison term of three to eight years. He's being sentenced in December by Judge Blanche Hill Fawell, who also will officiate over his wedding.

"This is a first," Fawell said Friday at a hearing where Leath pleaded guilty in the crash that killed his 18-year-old neighbor, Stephanie Pickett.

Leath's defense attorney, LaWanda Phillips, declined to elaborate on the wedding plans but said it's not uncommon for defendants to get hitched while in custody.

Pickett's mother declined to comment as she left court.

The fatal crash happened about 10:30 p.m. April 25 in the area of Shaffner and Mack roads near Wheaton. Leath told police he gave Pickett a ride to a friend's house and they were returning to the apartment complex where they both lived when his Ford Explorer went off the road, crashed into some trees and rolled over.

"He indicated an animal had come out in the roadway and he lost control of the vehicle," Assistant State's Attorney Deb Brewer said in court.

Pickett, a Wheaton Warrenville South High School senior, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead of massive head injuries.

Brewer said Leath registered a blood alcohol content of 0.135 and admitted drinking alcohol "on and off throughout the day in small amounts." The legal threshold for driving is 0.08.

In exchange for pleading guilty to aggravated driving under the influence, prosecutors agreed to cap their sentencing recommendation for Leath at eight years when he otherwise would face up to 14. Probation is not an option because of his prior record, which includes more than a dozen arrests for driving on a suspended license, according to court records.

Leath has been in the county jail on $1 million bail since his arrest. His sentencing and wedding are scheduled for Dec. 12.

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