Aurora man gets 15 years for fatal DUI crash
Kane Countyâ€”An Aurora man convicted of driving drunk when he struck and killed a Batavia man who was walking his dog on the sidewalk just after dawn has been sent to prison.
Edward O. Cook, 25, of the 600 block of Galena Boulevard, Aurora, was sentenced last week by Associate Judge T. Jordan Gallagher to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Cook was convicted May 21, 2010, by Judge Gallagher of 11 counts of reckless homicide, each a Class 3 felony, 15 counts of aggravated driving under the influence (five are Class 2 felonies and 10 are Class 4 felonies), and one count of unlawful possession of a converted motor vehicle, a Class 2 felony, in the July 2009 death of 57-year-old David Long of Batavia. Cook had waived his right to a jury trial.
At about 6:45 a.m. July 29, 2009, Long was walking his dog on the sidewalk in the 1000 block of Woodland Hills Road on Bataviaâ€™s southeast side when a 2003 white Acura driven by Cook left the roadway and struck and killed Long and the dog.
Cook had been drinking, smoking marijuana and ingesting cocaine the previous night and early into the morning at a residence in Aurora and later in DeKalb. After being given a ride to the residence of an acquaintance, Cook took the car without permission. A blood sample taken at least three hours after the crash revealed that Cookâ€™s blood-alcohol concentration was .106, and he had marijuana and cocaine in his system.
Cook had had his driving privileges revoked for a 2008 aggravated DUI conviction.
During sentencing, Judge Gallagher cited Cookâ€™s violent and reckless past, which includes numerous drug, battery and theft charges. Judge Gallagher also cited the 2008 conviction of aggravated DUI conviction and noted that Cook was on parole from IDOC at the time of the 2009 crash that killed David Long.
In addition, the state noted that Cook had never successfully completed terms of a sentence for any of his numerous prior offenses, as well as Cookâ€™s insistence that he does not have a drug and alcohol problem despite the presence of drugs or alcohol during many of his prior offenses.
â€œAnyone who has a prior conviction for DUI should not be anywhere near drugs or alcohol,â€ Judge Gallagher said. â€œI donâ€™t know what it will take for this man to realize he has a drug and alcohol problem, but until he does I have to get him off the street.â€
By law, Cook was sentenced on one count of aggravated DUI and the unlawful possession of a converted motor vehicle count. He was sentenced to 10 years for the aggravated DUI, for which he must serve at least 85 percent, and five years for the possession of a converted motor vehicle, for which he must serve at least 50 percent. Cook was given credit for 359 days served in the Kane County jail.
He had been held on $750,000 bail before his trial. Bond was revoked upon conviction.