Suburban Village Clerk Pleads Not Guilty In Deadly DUI Crash

UPDATED 03/29/11 1:47 p.m.

MARKHAM, Ill. (CBS) — A south suburban village clerk has pleaded not guilty in a drunken driving crash that left a young mother dead.

Roel N. Valle, 64, an employee of the Village of Lynwood, is charged with one count of aggravated DUI involving death and one count of reckless homicide, in connection with the Feb. 4 crash that killed Melikah Little.

He was ordered held on $250,000 bond on Feb. 15, and was indicted last week. On Tuesday, he pleaded not guilty in a hearing at the Markham Courthouse.

About 1:15 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 4, Valle was driving north on in the southbound lanes of Route 394 just south of the Bishop Ford Freeway, Illinois State Police said. His vehicle struck a 2000 Chrysler Cirrus head-on and the impact caused the Chrysler to overturn into the center median.

The passenger in the Chrysler, Melikah Little, was killed instantly. The driver, 27-year-old Angelina Jones of Chicago, was critically injured, police said. Little would have celebrated her 33rd birthday on Feb. 8.

Valle’s vehicle then struck a White 1998 Ford Taurus head-on. That car was driven by Melikah Little’s husband, Manuel L. Little, 37, who was traveling directly behind his wife, the release said.

Valle, of Lynwood, was driving a Black 2008 Ford Taurus owned by the village of Lynwood. Witnesses reported the vehicle traveling the wrong way at Route 394 and U.S. 30, two miles from the crash scene.

Angelina Jones was also charged with misdemeanor DUI and several traffic violations, police said.

Reckless homicide while operating a vehicle carries a punishment of 2-5 years in prison, while DUI causing death is punishable by 3-14 years, according to police.

Valle is due back in court at 9 a.m. May 2.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

  • T OZZY


  • South Side

    A car in the hands of a drunk driver is no different from a gun.

  • Curious

    I don’t get why these morons plead not guilty to something they obviously did. He has absolutely no chance of getting off yet pleads not guilty like they might be able to fool everyone.

  • chris

    You have to remember that crime has no deterant in IL. It’s ok to kill cause there is no more death penalty. THNAKS GOV QUINN !!!!

    • Sandi

      Yeah, life without parole isn’t much of a reason to not kill someone. Spending any amount of time in prison with poor food and healthcare, and being raped on a daily basis isn’t much of a threat either. Come on….Besides, NOBODY gets the death penalty for drinking and driving…even when they kill a bus load of nuns or pre-schoolers…not even in Texas. Stop with the melodrama. Plenty of countries have no death penalty and they have lower violent crime rates than we do.

  • nerd

    The woman who died was riding with a drunk driver and that driver is only getting a misdemeanor?

    • South Side

      Good point, they shouldn’t havebeen on the road either.

  • 22

    We have no Justice system. It failed a long time ago. and will continue to fail as long as there are Panty Waste Lawyers protecting the criminals. The criminals have more rights than we do. This is such a sad world we live in and it seems that no one gives a @#*%!

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