Former CO pleads guilty in deadly 2008 Ill. DUI collision

Had alcohol, morphine and codeine in his system


By Dan Rozek
The Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO — A former state correctional officer could find himself serving up to 14 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to felony DUI and reckless homicide charges stemming from a deadly 2008 Kane County car crash.

Reginald Hearon, 50, was hurrying to work at the Illinois Youth Center in St. Charles early on Oct. 2, 2008, when his van slammed head-on into an oncoming car as he tried to pass several vehicles on a two-lane highway, authorities said.

Killed in the 5:30 a.m. collision was 53-year-old Craig Smith of St. Charles.

A blood test after the crash found that Hearon had alcohol, morphine and codeine in his system, authorities said. A crash reconstruction also concluded that Hearon, of far west suburban Plano, was speeding at least 10 mph over the limit when he struck Smith's car.

Kane County prosecutors will ask that Hearon receive a prison term when he is sentenced in November, though he also is eligible for probation.

"We believe prison time is an appropriate sentence," prosecutor Nemura Pencyla said.

Hearon, who has since retired from his corrections job, remains free on bond pending his sentencing.

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