Man who got probation in fatal 2009 DUI crash could have latest DUI case dismissed

  • Onofrio "Josh" Lorusso is next due in court March 23.

    Onofrio "Josh" Lorusso is next due in court March 23.

 
 
Updated 2/7/2020 12:40 PM

A man who got probation for a 2009 DUI crash that killed a St. Charles East High School graduate could have his most recent DUI arrest -- this one from last August in Romeoville -- dismissed because of a judge's recent ruling.

Citing lack of probable cause, Will County Judge Chrystel Gavlin suppressed evidence and field sobriety test results in the case of Onofrio "Josh" Lorusso, 28, formerly of Wayne and now of the 25000 block of Hart Road, Batavia.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The ruling means the DUI charge against Lorusso could be dismissed at his next court date in Joliet in late March.

Gavlin ruled last week that authorities did not have probable cause to arrest Lorusso at 1:19 p.m. Aug. 4, 2019, after he struck another car while headed north on Weber Road, according to court records.

Defense attorney Ted Hammel, who did not return calls seeking comment, argued his client had one drink and completed a one-leg stand before refusing other tests until a lawyer arrived, according to court records.

At the time of his August arrest, Lorusso refused a breath sample, triggering an automatic, one-year summary suspension of his driver's license under state law.

Gavlin's ruling suppresses Lorusso's statements to police and also means Lorusso's summary suspension should be lifted immediately, records show.

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Carol Cheney, spokeswoman for the Will County State's Attorney's Office, said prosecutors are "evaluating the case now and will determine the appropriate course of action by March 23," which is the next day Lorusso is due in court.

Lorusso was arrested and charged with aggravated DUI in June 2009.

He eventually pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI in the death of Cameron Godee, 18, of St. Charles, a St. Charles East High School graduate who was a passenger in Lorusso's 2005 Ford Explorer.

Lorusso had a blood-alcohol concentration of .227 percent and was going 77 mph in a 25-mph zone on the 3100 block of Royal Fox Drive when he lost control, hit a mailbox, two trees and a parked car. Two other passengers also were injured.

Lorusso faced up to 14 years in prison for Cameron's death but got six months in jail and probation in a sentence from now-retired Judge Timothy Sheldon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Years later, Lorusso was arrested at an underage drinking party while still on probation. At the time, prosecutors argued for prison, but Sheldon in February 2012 gave Lorusso more jail time and an alcohol monitoring device.

During the hearing, Cameron's father, Greg Godee, shouted to Sheldon "How much did they pay you this time?" Godee was briefly detained and apologized to the court.

Godee said this week he wasn't surprised another judge ruled in favor or Lorusso.

"The legal system is corrupt just like last time. I have come to terms with that. I just pray no one else gets killed (by Lorusso)," Godee said. "The more money you have, the more it tips the scales."

Lorusso is free on bond. If convicted of misdemeanor DUI, he faced up to 364 days in jail.

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