Judge T. Scott Webb sentenced 42 year old Robbie W. Darnell, of Equality, to 30 months in the Illinois Department of Corrections, plus 1 year Mandatory Supervised Release, on a class 3 felony, Reckless Homicide, after a contested sentencing hearing that began Monday afternoon concluded Thursday in White County Court.
Darnell pled guilty to the offense of Reckless Homicide, a class 3 felony, on August 17, 2020 with a sentencing hearing set for October 19, 2020. They began the sentencing hearing Monday afternoon with the State presenting six victim impact statements from family and friends of the decedents, as well as testimony from three witnesses which included the Traffic Crash Expert from the Illinois State Police. Public Defender Brian Shinkle called four witnesses to testify on behalf of the defendant, including the defendant himself. Following arguments of counsel during which the State requested that the defendant be sentenced to the maximum sentence under the standard sentencing range of class 3 felonies, 5 years, the judge took a recess to consider all of the evidence and the statutory factors before returning with his decision of sentencing him to 30 months in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Class 3 felonies have a possible standard sentencing range of 2-5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections or up to 30 months of probation or conditional discharge.
Darnell was found guilty of Reckless Homicide in that he acted in a reckless manner on April 22, 2019 by performing acts likely to cause death or great bodily harm to an individual in the way that he operated his motor vehicle which ultimately led to him striking a 2008 Honda Accord driven by Judith A. Egan head-on and thereby causing the death of Judith A. Egan and Michelle R. Egan.
State’s Attorney Denton Aud said, “These are difficult cases on many levels. I believe that the Court made the correct decision of sentencing the defendant to the Illinois Department of Corrections under the circumstances of this case. Judith Egan and Michelle Egan were truly innocent victims who deserved to be able to live out their lives. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with their family and friends. I am also thankful for the work done by the Illinois State Police in this case.”