Cuba Township man gets 15 years in prison for fatal DUI crash

  • Kenneth Malanowski, 42, of Cuba Township

    Kenneth Malanowski, 42, of Cuba Township

 
 
Updated 10/25/2018 1:54 PM

A Cuba Township man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges stemming from an Antioch Township DUI-related crash that killed an Arizona woman nearly one year ago, authorities said.

As part of a negotiated sentence in Lake County court, Kenneth K. Malanowski, 42, was sentenced to seven years in prison for aggravated driving under the influence that resulted in death, then another eight years for leaving the scene of a fatal accident, Assistant Lake County State's Attorney Michael Ori said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Under law, the two sentences will be served consecutively, resulting in a 15-year term, Ori said. However, depending on good time credit, Malanowski is only required to serve 85 percent on the DUI charge, then 50 percent of the leaving the scene charge. That means he could be eligible for parole after serving 10 years.

"I hope the sentence imposed sends a strong message to those who would ever consider the idea of getting behind the wheel intoxicated," Ori said.

Malanowski, of the 28600 block of West Roberts Road near Port Barrington, had been free on bond when he pleaded guilty. He was taken into custody Thursday after Judge Mark Levitt approved the plea deal.

Additional counts of aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in death, reckless homicide and failure to report an accident resulting in death were dropped in exchange for the guilty plea, Ori said. Had he been found guilty at trial, Malanowski could have received up to 29 years in prison.

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Police said Malanowski was driving a 2007 Volvo north on Route 59 near Grass Lake Road in Antioch Township during the early morning hours of Nov. 26, 2017, when he rear-ended a vehicle driven by Stephanie Dokken, 26, of Youngstown, Arizona. Both vehicles left the road and hit trees, authorities said.

Dokken, who was in town visiting family, was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy later showed she died due to multiple traumatic injuries.

Malanowski ran from the scene after the crash, but officers used a police dog to track him down at his former Antioch Township residence nearby. He was charged Dec. 21 after police received the results of a toxicology screening.

Ori said in court Malanowski was speeding, had a blood-alcohol level over .30 at the time of the crash, and left the scene despite knowing Dokken was dead. A blood-alcohol level above .08 is considered intoxicated under state law.

"This is a tragic situation all around," defense attorney Stephen Simonian said. "He (Malanowski) is very remorseful about the entire situation."

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