An Antioch township teen faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated driving under the influence in connection with a street race that left a 16-year-old girl dead.
Jeremy Betancourt, 18, pleaded guilty on Thursday to avoid more severe charges. According to court documents, Betancourt faced several felony charges, including reckless homicide and aggravated street racing, but the charges were dropped as part of the plea agreement.
The incident in question occurred on June 24, 2013 in Gurnee, Illinois. According to the suit, Betancourt and a friend were racing along Route 120 when Betancourt lost control, struck a median and rolled the car. One of Betancourt’s three passengers, Cynthia Perez, was ejected from the vehicle during the accident. Her injuries proved to be fatal, while Betancourt and two passengers survived.
Sentencing to Come
Betancourt will be sentenced on June 30, but the guidelines for his punishment may already be in place. Judge Victoria Rossetti recommended that Betancourt receive periodic imprisonment and probation, citing the case against Betancourt’s street racing accomplice that concluded last year.
Michael Dawson, 20, pleaded guilty to aggravated street racing back in November for his role in the incident. He was sentenced to 18 months of periodic imprisonment and 30 months of probation. However, since Betancourt was directly involved in the death of his friend, it wouldn’t be surprising if he got a longer sentence.
Jed Stone, who represented Betancourt in the case, said the incident was “absolutely tragic,” and that Betancourt has taken steps to get his life back on track.
“He’s on an upward trajectory,” Stone said.
Related source: Daily Herald