Woman not guilty of DUI in 2016 fatal crash into Aurora house

 
 
Updated 3/6/2019 7:04 PM
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  • Stephanie A. Figueroa

    Stephanie A. Figueroa

After about an hour of deliberations, a Kane County jury Tuesday found a 30-year-old Streator woman not guilty of reckless homicide and aggravated DUI in a fatal crash into an Aurora house.

Stephanie A. Figueroa, of the 800 block of Elm Street, faced a maximum 14-year prison term if convicted of causing the death of Obed Cruz-Hernandez, 35, of Aurora, who died after a Feb. 7, 2016, crash into a house near Farnsworth and Indian avenues on the city's northwest side.

Figueroa's two-day trial was held before Judge Clint Hull. She was found not guilty on all six felony counts.

"We were happy to get a not-guilty verdict from the jury and she's obviously extremely relieved," said defense attorney Liam Dixon, who added that his client also expressed sympathy for Cruz-Hernandez' family. "She was devastated at everything that happened that night. Relief is probably the biggest thing."

According to police, Cruz-Hernandez was ejected from a Volkswagen Jetta after it crashed into a house near on the 500 block of Farnsworth about 2 a.m. He died 40 minutes later at an area hospital.

Witnesses said they saw Figueroa crawl from the vehicle and try to run, but she was arrested in a nearby backyard, police said. She was initially charged with misdemeanor DUI, but the charges were later upgraded to felonies.

During the trial, prosecutors were unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Figueroa caused the crash.

"We are able to show a great likelihood that it was the deceased who was the actual driver," Dixon said.

If convicted of aggravated DUI, she faced a prison term ranging from three to 14 years and under state law, would be required to serve 85 percent of it.

According to court records, Figueroa had a previous DUI arrest in Aurora in May 2012. She pleaded guilty the next month to misdemeanor DUI and completed her court supervision, records show.

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