Man’s Trial Begins In DUI Crash That Killed Boy

JOLIET (CBS) — A south suburban man accused of driving drunk and killing a 5-year-old boy says authorities have the wrong man on trial.

It was back in may when Cecil Conner crashed his girlfriend’s car after a night of drinking. But he insists he was pressured by police to take the wheel, CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports.

Conner is charged with drunken driving and aggravated reckless driving.

“He’s not guilty — he needs to get out of there,” Linda Conner, the defendant’s mother, told reporters.

Conner, 23, is on trial for driving drunk, slamming his car into a tree and causing the death of Michael Langford, who was trapped in the back of the car.

The accident had happened in Steger shortly after Conner’s girlfriend — Kathy LaFond, the boy’s mother — had been stopped for a traffic violation in Chicago Heights.

She was taken into custody for driving on a suspended license.

Monday in court, Conner’s defense attorney said the same officer who arrested LaFond insisted that Conner drive the boy home.

That’s why relatives say Conner is not guilty.

“I think the evidence will show that the officer threatened to arrest him if he didn’t drive the car and because he was drunk he just followed directions,” Jeff Tomczak, Conner’s attorney, said.

The Chicago Heights officer has been identified as Chris Felicetti. LaFond’s attorney says she also told the officer that Conner had been drinking.

Mark Horwitz, Kathie LaFond’s attorney, said Felicetti disregarded her warnings that she was the designated driver.

Prosecutors disagreed. They say Conner is responsible for the boy’s death.

  • Tanya Livingston

    The defense is bogus. It would appear that Conner consumed alcohol between the time he left the police station and crasshed the car. It is absurd that police would let a drunk drive a child in a car. The police could have easily called the DCFS Hotline and taken protective custody of the child. This is routine. DCFS would have placed the child in an Emergency Shelter. I blame the mother and her lack of parenting skills and judgment for driving a car on a suspened licence with her child.

  • West Palm Mayor Frankel calls for ethics probe of mayoral candidate Douglas; Douglas says mayor play | Arlington Lawyers | Arlington Attorney | Arlington Lawyer

    […] Man’s Trial Begins In DUI Crash That Killed Boy Cecil Conner says an officer was warned that he was drunk and shouldn’t drive when his girlfriend was pulled over last May. Conner later crashed, killing her child. Read more on CBS Chicago […]

  • GM

    “about 40 minutes after police handed Conner his girlfriend’s keys, he crashed into an evergreen tree about two miles away in Steger”

    Police told him to leave immediately – where was he for 30 minutes?

    How many drinks did he have after the police gave him the keys?


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