April 6, 2011
Luis V. Benito, 17, of 307 Woodcreek Dr., pleaded guilty in January to two counts of aggravated driving while under the influence of alcohol.
The victim, Josefina Prospero, and her husband were asleep in bed when Benito crashed his SUV through the wall of their apartment unit in the early-morning hours of November 13, 2010. Mrs. Prospero was pinned beneath the wheel of the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. Her husband, who was sleeping closer to the wall, was unharmed.
Benito’s blood-alcohol level was .204 at the time of the crash, which is two and a half times the legal limit.
The crime carries a penalty of between three and 14 years in prison. Illinois law requires a prison sentence unless a judge determines that extraordinary circumstances warrant placing the defendant on probation. Prosecutors urged the judge to place the defendant behind bars.
“An innocent woman lost her life because of Luis Benito’s selfish and reckless decision to get behind the wheel of an SUV when his blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit,” State’s Attorney Glasgow said. “A prison term was the only justifiable sentence for causing this horrific fatal wreck.”
The state’s attorney credited his prosecutor, Fred Harvey, with securing the guilty plea and prison sentence.