PEORIA — A convicted drug dealer who formerly lived in Champaign and Savoy has been sentenced to 7-1/2 years in federal prison for selling crack cocaine in Champaign County in the fall of 2009.
David McClain, 31, will have to serve 5-1/2 years of that sentence after he completes a 20-year sentence he's now serving in state prison for leaving the scene of an accident in 2009 that resulted in the death of a University of Illinois graduate student from China and the injury of four of her friends.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mihm sentenced McClain in Peoria on Tuesday for two separate offenses: distribution of crack cocaine that occurred in September, October and November 2009 in Urbana, and for violating the supervised release he was on for a 2003 conviction for distribution of crack cocaine.
In 2003, Mihm had sentenced McClain to 70 months in federal prison for selling crack. Within a year of his release, he was back at it. And while he was selling crack in 2009, he got in a collision on Interstate 74 just east of Neil Street on Nov. 23, 2009, that killed Yingbo Zhou, 26.
She was a back-seat passenger in a Honda Civic that McClain struck from behind while driving a Cadillac Escalade at speeds estimated at 100 mph. After striking the car, McClain took off and wasn't found by police for 14 hours. Four other people in the car were injured, two of them seriously.
McClain ultimately pleaded guilty in state court to leaving the scene of an accident involving death. In December 2010, he was sentenced to 20 years in state prison and is currently in the Jacksonville Correctional Center with a projected parole date of August 2019.
A little over a year ago, U.S. District Court Judge Michael McCuskey recused himself from sentencing McClain on the federal drug convictions, saying he was disgusted with prosecutors for not taking steps to revoke McClain's supervised release in the earlier case before he killed Ms. Zhou.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene Miller sought a sentence of 12 years for the 2009 crack distribution to which McClain had pleaded guilty and the supervised release revocation. Mihm imposed 7-1/2 years.