Mother Plans to Sue Cops Over Fatal Steger Crash

By Dick Johnson
|  Thursday, Jul 15, 2010  |  Updated 9:39 PM CDT
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The mother of Michael Langford, the 5-year-old boy who died in a drunken driving crash in Steger on Monday morning, is simultaneously making preparations to bury her son and sue the police department that allowed her drunken boyfriend to transport him.

The loss has left her badly shaken.

"She's curled up in a ball and unable to talk," said attorney Mark Horwitz.

Langford died early Monday morning after Cecil Conner crashed his car into a tree Steger Road and Carpenter Street. Conner’s blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit and he had marijuana in his system at the time of the crash, police say.

Less than an hour before the crash, he was allowed to drive away with the 5 -year-old after the child’s mother, Kathie LaFond, was stopped and arrested for driving on a suspended license.

Conner has been charged with reckless homicide and four counts of driving under the influence of alcohol.  He's being held on $500,000 bond.

Chicago Heights police officials say the rookie cop who stopped LaFond at around 3 a.m. couldn’t tell that Conner, 22, was drunk when he allowed him to leave the scene.

Steger officers said they couldn’t tell Conner was drunk when they pulled him from the crashed vehicle, either.

"He was so intoxicated. The mother should have stopped this. The cop should have done his job right, this could have been avoided," Conner's cousin, Tim Roop, said outside the Will County Courthouse following the arraignment hearing.

Officers at the lock up, however, reported that Conner was too intoxicated to interview more than 12 hours after he was arrested.

They say Conner had no idea the boy was dead until late Monday afternoon.

"When someone knows what their condition is and they're able to defraud a police officer and then come into court claiming advantage in sentencing, I don't think that's going to happen in Will County," said State's Attorney James Glasgow, shifting the blame for the tragic ordeal on Conner.

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