WAUKEGAN (CBS) — A north suburban woman convicted of huffing computer cleaner before running over a 5-year-old girl two years ago was sentenced on Wednesday to five years in prison
Carly Rousso, 20, was convicted on May 29 in the death of five-year-old Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: A Few Sprinkles Overnight
Rousso faced three years to 14 years on her conviction on four counts of aggravated driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance.
Prosecutors say she huffed an aerosol can of keyboard cleaner on Labor Day 2012, before plowing her parents’ Lexus into the Sacramento family on a sidewalk in Highland Park.
Jaclyn’s mother, Modesta Sacramento-Jimenez, and two brothers also were injured.
Rousso’s father, therapists and her attorney argued in court that Rousso it had a difficult life, raped at 14, bullied in high school and mauled by a pitbull requiring 400 stitches.
“If we can’t have mercy for children who have suffered like this child has suffered…we should have mercy on no one,” said defense Jed Stone.READ MORE: Video From Police Shooting That Killed Adam Toledo To Be Released On Thursday, COPA Says
But Judge Booras said it was necessary to punish the defendant to protect the public
“There’s a necessity for the defendant to be punished for what she has done… the public must be protected,” the judge said.
She could serve as little as three years and four months. After Wednesday’s court hearing, the victim’s family cried, saying the sentence was too light. The little girl’s father said he feels destroyed, and that the judge did not do justice in sentencing Rousso.
Carly Rousso’s attorney says he will appeal the sentence, saying her life so far has been hell. He argued for probation.
Rousso pleaded guilty to a count of reckless homicide before her bench trial began on Tuesday, but prosecutors wouldn’t budge on a more serious charge of aggravated DUI, which carries a sentence of up to 14 years.
The defense argued the aggravated DUI charge wasn’t valid because the aerosol cleaning agent Rousso allegedly inhaled before the crash was not specifically mentioned as an intoxicant in the state’s DUI law.MORE NEWS: Five Things We Know About The Adam Toledo Police Shooting Case
But Lake County Judge James Booras, who decided the verdict, said it was Rousso’s intent to get intoxicated.