DUI plea likely means prison for Danville man

DUI plea likely means prison for Danville man

DANVILLE — A 46-year-old Danville man is likely facing prison time in connection with an alcohol-related accident that killed a pedestrian in October 2015.

Earlier this week, Randy Hill pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated driving under the influence-fatality in the Oct. 11, 2015 death of Merit D. Hicks, 23, of Danville.

Hill's sentencing hearing is set for April 24.

Vermilion County State's Attorney Jacqueline Lacy said Hill could be sentenced to three to 14 years in prison and would be required to serve 85 percent of the term.

"It's non-probationable, except if the court finds extraordinary circumstances," Lacy said of the offense.

According to a police report, Mr. Hicks was attempting to cross North Vermilion Street, also Illinois 1, by the entrance to the Meijer gas station and store, when he was struck by a car heading north. Mr. Hicks — who had been staying across the street at the Candle-Light Motel, at 3649 N. Vermilion St. — was pronounced dead at the scene.

If the case had gone to trial, Lacy said she would have called to the stand members of the Danville police department, including former Officer Amy Freeland.

She said Freeland would have testified that police responded to the accident a little after 10 p.m. While she was talking to Hill, he admitted to drinking beers earlier at Turtle Run.

"The officer, while speaking to the defendant, indicated that his speech was not slurred, but that his mouth was watering and his eyes were bloodshot," Lacy said.

Lacy said Hill was taken to Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center, where his blood was drawn at 11:50 p.m.

She said Alexandra Baluka, of the Illinois State Police Crime Lab, would have testified that Hill's blood alcohol content was .229, nearly three times the .08 legal limit.

Sections (2):News, Local

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
GLG wrote on March 15, 2018 at 8:03 pm

So he is going "out of town" for the AG Battery, but no DUI charge? That could have gotten him another 10 years, .229 BAC, and he walks on the DUI Thank You to the Danville police for their work in bringing these criminals to justice only to watch them plea out of the DUI.

Noelle McGee wrote on March 16, 2018 at 3:03 pm

Hi, GLG. I'm sorry, but I made an error in the story. Hill pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI-fatality, a Class 2 felony. I've corrected this online, and we'll run a correction tomorrow. Thanks, Noelle

GLG wrote on March 16, 2018 at 5:03 pm

Thank you for correcting the story.