February 22, 2011 (JOLIET, Ill.) (WLS) —
Cecil Conner was found guilty by a Will County jury in the drunk driving crash that killed his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son.
Conner sat stone-faced as his verdict- guilty on two counts of aggravated DUI- was read.
“While we disagree with the jury’s verdict, we respect it. As experienced trial lawyers we know that whatever the jury decides is in our system of justice, that is the verdict,” said Jeff Tomczak, Conner’s attorney.
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During the trial, Conner admitted to driving drunk. However, the defense contended he was handed the keys and ordered to do so by Chicago Heights Officer Chris Felicetti, who had arrested Conner’s girlfriend and designated driver Kathie LaFond on a suspended license.
“Obviously if this is the kind of police work that they want to do and this is the kind of individual they want on their force, that’s certainly up to them and that’s their business. Do I think this was good police work? No. I don’t. There’s a dead child involved,” Paul Naposki, Conner’s attorney, said.
Conner, whose blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit, later crashed the vehicle. LaFond’s 5-year-old son, Michael Langford Junior, died. He was in the back seat.
“He knew exactly what he was doing, 28 minutes after he left the police presence when the accident occurred. Each one of those minutes,” said James Glasgow, Will County State’s attorney.
” It’s going to give us partial closure. Obviously nothing is going to replace Langford,” said Kim Lozano, relative of Langford. Conner and LaFond, who are no longer together, both testified that Felicetti gave Conner the keys despite multiple warnings he was drunk. That’s an argument prosecutors angrily dismissed.
“That’s preposterous. And it’s disgusting,” Glasgow said.
Conner faces up to 14 years behind bars.
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