A Will County jury has found Cecil Conner Jr. guilty of aggravated driving under the influence in the high-speed crash that led to the death of his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son last spring.
The jury, which began its deliberations Tuesday morning, convicted Conner on both counts of aggravated driving under the influence Tuesday night. He’s facing three to 14 years in prison.
Conner admitted to being drunk in the early hours of May 10, 2010, when the red Chevy Cavalier he was driving crashed into a tree in Steger, killing his then-girlfriend's son, Michael Langford.
Defense attorneys maintained that Conner took the wheel because he was entrapped and did so out of necessity in obeying the officer's orders.
"If there’s a mistake in this case, it wasn’t Cecil Conner’s. Don’t hold him accountable for what that police officer did," said attorney Jeff Tomczak.
The crash happened after Kathie LaFond, Langford's mother, had been driving and was arrested because of a suspended license.
"It's hard. It really is," LaFond said. "Not just at the trial, every day. ... In two months, it would be his birthday."
The civil attorney representing Michael Langford says the jury's got a lot to sift through.
"This is not just an ordinary DUI case," Mark Horwitz said.
Horwitz plans on suing the Chicago Heights Police Department for damages by proving Officer Chris Fellicetti displayed "reckless indifference to the value of human life."
"We're looking to punish the Chicago Heights Police Department. We want them to pay for the fact that Kathie LaFond's child is dead," Horwitz said.