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Comment on guilty plea in DUI fatal crash

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

McHenry County, Illinois

Comment on guilty plea in DUI fatal crash

Gus Philpott
Woodstock Advocate
January 27, 2011


I decided to place this comment separately from the press release by the McHenry County State's Attorney in the guilty plea of Tania Cederholm, 35, of Woodstock.

Please note the date of the crash - February 21, 2007. Today is just about three weeks short of four (that's FOUR (4)) years. Four years. What in the world could take four years??? Legal maneuvering. Fancy footwork. Continuance after continuance after continuance.

Read the press release - her BAC was 0.246. She had a DUI in 2004, which would have been probably less than three years before the fatal crash on February 21, 2007.

And look at the wording in the press release. The offense is "probationable." You've got to be kidding me. One DUI; then a second, fatal DUI. And now, four years of fooling around in the courts, she might get probation?

Who was her attorney? A McHenry County Public Defender. Ahh, the taxpayers paid for this one.

Look at Case No. 07CF000576. Six aggravated DUI/Accident felony charges. Five were nolle prossed; she pled guilty on one of them. But also look at all the other charges. You can view public records at http://www.mchenrycircuitclerk.org/

I don't even know if I can count accurately the number of court dates that driver had. I'll try. Why don't you see what number you get. I got 45. FORTY-FIVE court dates in 47 months!

When you look at the court record of dates and activity, you'll see that Judge Prather granted a motion for a fitness evaluation on 6/17/2009. Then, a whole year later on 7/2/2010, Cederholm was deemed fit for trial. Well, duh... Why didn't Judge Prather give Cederholm's lawyer 30 days to get the evaluation done? On 9/1/2010 a jury trial was scheduled for 1/27/2011 (today).

And just by some miracle, in a 402 Conference, a plea deal was worked out, and Cederholm pled guilty.

I have an opinion about the delays, games, ploys, stalls that are used to postpone final decisions. Do defendants think the courts might go out of business in the meantime? Why do judges tolerate this kind of nonsense?

February 10th may be Cederholm's (un)lucky day, when she faces Judge Sharon L. Prather at 9:00AM in Room 304 at the McHenry County Courthouse.

Let's see; driver measures 0.246, runs a stop sign, kills a person. The case should have been over in 90 days!!!



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