Illinois: guilty plea to DUI death by James Griesbaum = light sentence

 From The Telegraph

EDWARDSVILLE — A man who pleaded guilty Friday in a fatal drunken driving case broke into tears and apologized to his victims’ family.

“I’m sorry; I wish it was me,” he was overheard saying.

James L. Griesbaum, 36, pleaded guilty in Madison County Circuit Court to a count of aggravated driving under the influence resulting in death and also a count of aggravated driving under the influence resulting in great bodily harm in exchange for a prison term of 42 months and a prosecution agreement to drop two other charges.

Members of the victim’s family and the Griesbaum family embraced and exchanged words after the plea.

The plea came in the midst of a trial that included testimony from a prosecution witness who estimated Griesbaum’s blood-alcohol level at between 0.09 percent and 0.12 percent, more than the state standard for a presumption of intoxication.

The plea came after Circuit Judge Kyle Napp ruled that a proposed defense expert was not qualified to testify as an expert. The ruling came after hours of testimony on the qualifications of Ronald Henson. Assistant Madison County State’s Attorney Crystal Uhe argued Henson lacked training in the “hard sciences,” such as chemistry, biology, pharmacology and toxicology.

Defense attorney William Berry ….MORE

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