DUI Suspect: Cop Told Me To Drive

CHICAGO (STMW) — An admittedly drunk driver took the witness stand in his own defense Friday, testifying how a Chicago Heights police officer ordered him behind the wheel before he crashed his girlfriend’s car, killing the 5-year-old boy he called his own.

Cecil Conner Jr., who faces two counts of aggravated driving under the influence, said officer Chris Felicetti gave him the mandate after his girlfriend and Michael Langford Jr.’s mother, Kathie LaFond, was arrested for driving on a suspended license.

In the early morning hours of May 10, LaFond, a designated driver, picked Conner up from a cousin’s house where Conner said he had been drinking Bud Lights while watching the NBA playoffs. LaFond’s son was sleeping in the back of the Chevrolet Cavalier minutes before the May 10 crash.

“I opened the passenger door. [Felicetti] put the keys in my hand. He told me to take Michael home and come back for Kathie,” Conner told Will County jurors, his blue striped suit jacket and collared shirt hiding the larger of his neck tattoos. “Then he ordered me to drive. He told me if I didn’t drive, I’d be arrested.”

The Steger man recalled thinking that night, “Everything’s blurry. I can’t really see. I’m scared”

Then Conner called the house he’d partied at to ask for help. He talked to Jennifer Tartt, his cousin’s fiancée, but the line went dead before he could figure out where he was.

The next thing he remembered was waking up. The Cavalier had slammed into one tree, richocheted into a cyclone fence and uprooted a pine tree.

“I was reaching in the back seat, screaming for help,” Conner said.

Assistant State’s Attorney Deborah Mills pounced on Conner during cross examination.

Why did he tell Steger police to “go get the bastard that did this?”

Why did he tell police some guy had cut him off? Where did he see the semi-truck he said caused him to swerve into the other lane?

“I don’t remember,” Conner repeated to her.

How did Conner manage to call his friend but not just pull over?

“You had a phone, correct?” she asked, raising her voice. “You had a brake pedal too?”

And did he ever go back to the Chicago Heights Police Station?

“I was supposed to go back there after I dropped Michael off,” Conner said. “I didn’t make it.”

Prosecutors’ brief rebuttal included testimony from a security supervisor at St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights who refuted LaFond’s insistence she told Felicetti three times Conner was drunk and she was his ride home.

Kevin Kutta said he overheard LaFond talking to Michael’s godmother in the waiting room at the ER where Michael was pronounced dead.

“Look, I need to tell you something,” he said LaFond told the other woman when they were alone. “I was picked up by police and arrested. I told the officer, ‘Please, let Cecil drive my baby home. That’s how he got the keys, That’s how he got the car, that’s how he got the baby.’”

Kutta said he volunteered his story to police after seeing LaFond on the TV news insisting the opposite.

Closing arguments in the trial are expected Tuesday.

  • crooked cops

    ive seen cops let drunk drivers go so many times. the cop may have been thinking he was doing something to help out this kid but look what happened. damn crooked cops. always ruining peoples lives. Its the cops fault that this child died.

    • Smooth

      crooked cops Comments like yours is why America has declined in so many areas. You are entiitled to your opinion and if we want it I will give it to you.
      This type of mentality is why there will always be a need for psychiatric homes.

    • FrEeCeCiLcOnNeR

      crooked cops… RIGHT ON! i’m so glad there r actual smart people out here that can see the truth… if that damn cop woulda just done his job lil michael woud be here 2day n cecil kathy n michael woud be a happy family watchin toystory 2gether…

    • Tom Kman

      yes we can only hope the next person to die is YOU

  • Randal

    Most Police Officers Don’t want the Paper Work Booking a Drunk and 90% of the Police Officers Just let the Drunk Go unless the Officers has a personal Beef with the Drunk and only then will the Police Officer Lock up a Drunk Driver !

    At 3am on any Day of the week there is a Drunk Driver in every Other Car Rolling Down Every Street or Highway in the State of Illinois !

    • Tom Kman

      you being one of the drunks no doubt

  • Billy

    Bad cops are very few and far between.It’s true there are alot of “drunk drivers” on the road.What do you expect with the limit being so low?Anyone who stops for a couple beers after work is .08.The laws should be the same for everyone.I can be alot higher than .08 and still have faster reflexes,better speed to distance peception,coordination,andfaster reaction time than many of the elderly drivers on the road.I think driving ability should be the “drunk’ measurement and not blood alcohol level.

    • Tom Kman

      yea and the test for that would be if you fail you crash and die

      • LOL

        Why are you negitive towards every comment given? If you don’t like the post don’t answer. Telling people that they are going to be the next to die in a drunk accident is not helpful at all. So I have 2 guesses you are either a cop or someone who has lost a loved one in one of these accidents. If the latter I am sorry for your loss. But instead of being negitive join MADD. Make a negitive into a positive. And if you are a cop damn I am sorry for you as well cause if you are this negitive then it must be that you have let a drunk person go before and they got killed or killed someone else. But that is only my opinion.

  • http://topsy.com/chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/02/19/dui-suspect-cop-told-me-to-drive/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Tweets that mention DUI Suspect: Cop Told Me To Drive « CBS Chicago -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CBS Chicago and chinewsnetwork, Chicago Blogger. Chicago Blogger said: DUI Suspect: Cop Told Me To Drive: An admittedly drunk driver took the witness stand in his own defense Friday, … http://bit.ly/dRIM4L […]

  • Joliet Jake

    The guy looks like the loser he is.

  • Carol Mosley Braun

    When I’m mayor — all this drunk driving stuff will end.

    • Gee-reg

      Guess this drunk driving will never end then HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  • smoooth

    why would you make a comment when we all know you will not become mayor.
    do you have a self image problem and need to be heard complex?

    • t kman

      If I did let a drunk go Iam only sorry that you were not on the road that day

      • tkman

        Smoooth I guess it takes one to know one

      • Smooth

        t kman Another example of why our biggest concern should be idiots like you with a moronic mentality.

  • Mike Finnerty

    I posted info about websights that oppose the current DUI laws and WBBM removed it. So much for FREE SPEECH! RIGHT WBBM??????

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live