November 8, 2017

Percy man sent to prison on aggravated DUI charge

A Percy, IL man was sent to prison late last month after pleading guilty to DUI charge.

32 year old Eric Wenzel was sentenced to five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections following a sentencing hearing before Judge Richard Brown in Randolph County Court.

Randolph County States Attorney Jeremy Walker reports during the sentencing hearing, the State requested a 10 year sentence, while Wenzel requested probation.

The charge stemmed from a May 2016 crash near Tilden which claimed the life of a Sparta, IL woman.

Wenzel also requested, if not given a term of probation, a DOC sentence with an impact incarceration recommendation, or a straight four year sentence to DOC.

The State called Trooper Otten with the Illinois State Police to provide the Court with the background of the accident, including the victim and her husband being trapped in the vehicle following the accident.

Additionally, the State called Alan Schilling, the surviving passenger and husband of the deceased, Sarah L. Wagner-Schilling. Mr. Schilling testified regarding the accident and permanent effects he has from injuries sustained in the accident.

The Illinois State Police handled the investigation in this matter.

"This case, like all DUI death cases, is tragic," said Walker. "You have a husband and wife traveling along Route 4 heading to Sparta to get something to eat, when they encounter a person whom was passed out drunk and crashed into their vehicle. The Defendant in this case was a correctional officer at Menard, with no prior criminal history. There is plenty of pain and suffering on both sides, but the lesson we wanted to provide to the citizens of this county is this…if you drink, drive and kill someone, you will go to prison. The sentence may not have been as long as we wanted, but it is a strong sentence given the Defendant’s lack of any prior history, especially knowing the Defendant will have to serve 85% of the sentence."