A Steger man convicted of killing his girlfriend’s 5-year-old son in a drunk driving accident was sentenced Friday to nine-and-a-half years in prison.
Cecil Conner, 24, was found guilty last February of aggravated driving under the influence in a 2010 crash that killed Michael Langford Jr., who was sleeping in the backseat of his car. Conner faced up to 14 years for the conviction.
Prosecutors said Conner was driving between 66-73 mph when his Chevy Cavalier drove across several lawns and collided with a tree early May 10, 2010, on 34th Street in Steger. His blood-alcohol level was later tested at .180, prosecutors said.
The crash happened after Kathie LaFond, Langford's mother, had been driving and was arrested because of a suspended license.
Defense attorneys maintained that Conner took the wheel because he was ordered to do so by officers. But State’s Attorney James Glasgow said Conner alone is responsible for losing control of his vehicle.
“Judge Burmila handed down an appropriate sentence for a drunken driver whose actions claimed the life of an innocent child,” said State’s Attorney James Glasgow in a statement. “Cecil Conner knowingly sped through a residential neighborhood while he was highly intoxicated."
In May Conner's attorneys sought a new trial because they said the state withheld evidence that could have been valuable.