CHICAGO (STMW) — An off-duty Chicago Police detective who crashed into a disabled car on the Dan Ryan Expressway in 2009, killing two men, pleaded guilty to DUI.
Joseph Frugoli, who was 41 at the tie of the crash, pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of aggravated DUI and faces six to 28 years in prison, according to Sally Daly, spokeswoman for Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
After the plea deal was reached on the DUI charges, a bench trial got under way on charges of aggravated leaving the scene of an accident, and about a half dozen witnesses testified before Cook County Judge Charles Burns, Daly said. That trial will continue Monday.
If convicted at the trial, Frugoli faces an additional four to 15 years in prison for each victim, Daly said.
Frugoli drove his black Lexus SUV into the back of a Dodge Intrepid that had broken down on southbound I-90/94 near the 18th Street ramp in April 2009, authorities said. The detective was walking away from the fiery crash when he was apprehended.
Andrew Cazares, 23, of Summit, and Fausto Manzera, 21, of Chicago were killed in the crash.
The 18-year veteran cop was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where tests indicated his blood-alcohol level was about triple the legal limit of 0.08. He had previously been involved in two other serious wrecks, authorities said.
Frugoli, who lived in the Bridgeport neighborhood, had been charged with two counts each of reckless homicide and aggravated DUI, and one count of leaving the scene of an accident, according to the state’s attorney’s office.
The lesser charged of reckless homicide was dismissed Thursday, said Daly, noting the state’s attorney’s office did not pursue the plea. She could not confirm a report that Frugoli recently resigned from the department.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)