Kevin McCartney pled guilty on April 23 to one felony count of failure to report an accident involving death, according to DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin. Judge Blanche Hill Fawell received McCartney's guilty plea and handed down the sentence.
McCartney was with Gregory Hoctor, 18, of Wheaton at the time of the Oct. 5, 2009 car crash, but left the scene without notifying authorities, according to an investigation. Police found McCartney's vehicle crashed into a tree on Durfee Road in Wheaton with Hoctor still inside in the early morning hours of Oct. 5. Hoctor died from his injuries later that afternoon, according to a news release.
McCartney and Hoctor were at a party in Wheaton on Oct. 4 and at some point in the evening left in McCartney's vehicle. McCartney was accused of returning to the party alone, claiming that Hoctor stole his vehicle, the news release said.
Forensic scientists from the DuPage County Sheriff's Crime Lab discovered tiny shards of glass on McCartney that matched the characteristics of the vehicle’s glass. In addition, FBI forensic scientists discovered fabric fibers from McCartney’s sweatshirt were imbedded in the interior driver’s side of the car. Scientists concluded that the fiber’s presence there was the result of a high impact crash, the release said.
The felony charge that McCartney received carried a maximum of 15 years in prison, according to sentencing guidelines in the current state statute. McCartney will be required to serve half of his sentence before being eligible for parole.
"Nearly four years ago, Mr. McCartney was involved in a crash that ultimately claimed the life of his friend, Gregory Hoctor," Berlin said in the release. "But instead of helping his injured friend as he lay dying in his car, Mr. McCartney decided to return to the party the men had just left. My sincerest condolences go out to the family and friends of Mr. Hoctor on their loss. Perhaps the knowledge that Mr. McCartney will be held responsible for failing to give his friend assistance that may have saved his life will ease their pain."
There were countless officers and investigators that worked tirelessly on this crash case for 3.5 years, particularly Detective Ted Fanning, Wheaton Police Commander James Volpe said in the release.
"I am extremely proud of the teamwork between our department and the DuPage County State’s Attorney’s office, the exceptional prosecution of this case, and the sentence handed down by Judge Fawell," Volpe said.
Berlin thanked Wheaton police and the FBI for their assistance on the case, as well as Assistant State's Attorneys Tim Diamond and Mike Fisher.
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