He 'deserves to be in prison': Family of St. Charles grad killed in crash outraged at driver's DUI

  • Onofrio "Josh" Lorusso is next due in court on Jan. 7 in Will County.

    Onofrio "Josh" Lorusso is next due in court on Jan. 7 in Will County.

 
 
Updated 2/19/2020 3:30 PM
Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct that Onofrio Lorusso of Batavia was cited for two counts of failure to report a change of address to the Secretary of State’s Office, misdemeanor DUI and failure to reduce speed as part of an August 2019 DUI arrest.

Activists and family members of Cameron Godee, a St. Charles East High School graduate killed in a one-vehicle drunken driving crash in 2009, say they're upset the driver in that case has been charged with DUI again in Romeoville.

Onofrio "Josh" Lorusso, 28, formerly of Wayne and now of the 25000 block of Hart Road, Batavia, is charged with misdemeanor DUI and failure to reduce speed in the second crash in which police say he struck another car while headed north on Weber Road about 1:19 p.m. Aug. 4.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"He definitely deserves to be in prison for the second DUI. He really should," said Cameron's father, Greg Godee. "He killed someone, and permanently maimed two others."

Lorusso had faced up to 14 years in prison for killing Godee, 18, a 2009 St. Charles East High School graduate who had earned a partial scholarship to Arkansas State University for rugby.

Lorusso had a blood-alcohol concentration of .227 when he crashed a 2005 Ford Explorer, killing Godee and injuring two other passengers on June 14, 2009.

Authorities said Lorusso was going 77 mph in a 25 mph zone on the 3100 block of Royal Fox Drive in St. Charles when he lost control and hit a mailbox, two trees and a parked car. Prosecutors said Lorusso was "combative" with police at the scene and refused to help identify his passengers.

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Lorusso pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and aggravated DUI in Godee's death. But a judge in 2010 cited "extraordinary circumstances" and sentenced Lorusso to 180 days jail and three years of probation.

Lorusso later violated his probation after being arrested at an underage drinking party in Des Plaines and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 90 days with an alcohol monitoring device in February 2012.

Lorusso's latest DUI arrest also was disappointing to anti-DUI activists Lorusso worked with after his guilty plea to reckless homicide.

"There's only so many chances you can give someone," said Rita Kreslin, executive director of the Schaumburg-based Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, who lost a son in a DUI crash and personally worked with Lorusso for him to speak at victim impact panels after he got probation in May 2010. "It's heartbreaking. You get revictimized all over again when someone takes the life of someone and doesn't take a different path in spite of it."

Romeoville Deputy Chief Kenneth Kroll said Lorusso was headed north on Weber Road in a 2001 Chevrolet Camaro when he struck the rear of a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta. Kroll said there were no injuries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

According to a Romeoville police report obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, Lorusso tried to drive off after the crash but was followed by another car filled with relatives of people in the Jetta. Lorusso had glassy eyes, repeatedly swore at officers and refused a breath test at the station, according to the report.

Lorusso's defense attorney, Ted Hammel, had no comment.

Last month, Hammel filed a motion to suppress statements and to quash his client's arrest, arguing Lorusso was arrested without probable cause and told police in the squad car video that he drank only one beer. The motion will be argued at Lorusso's next court date on Jan. 9.

Carole Cheney, spokeswoman for the Will County state's attorney's office, declined to comment on the specifics of the case but said, "It is still actively under review."

In Kane County, prosecutors routinely have brought misdemeanor DUI cases before a grand jury to obtain indictments on upgraded charges if a driver's previous DUI convictions came to light after the initial arrest.

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