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Illinois appeals court affirms Carrollton man’s aggravated DUI conviction

The Illinois Appellate Court ruled on Thursday, September 29 that it would not revisit the case of 38-year-old Carrollton resident Gary Hillis, who was convicted of aggravated driving under the influence in a fatal 2014 vehicular accident.

According to police reports, on May 2, 2014, Hillis was driving a Ford F-150 pickup truck along Illinois Route 108 with Brandy Gilbert as his passenger. Hillis allegedly crashed the vehicle, causing it to hit a utility pole on the passenger side. He and Gilbert were taken to Thomas H. Boyd Hospital in Carrollton, but Gilbert had to be rushed later to St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. She later died as a result of her mortal injuries. Accident reconstruction specialist James Hall said it is highly possible that Gilbert was driving the night of the accident.

However, in a 40-page decision penned by Justice Thomas Appleton, the appeals court ruled against Hillis, saying, “To be sure, defendant testified that Gilbert, rather than he, was the driver, but the jury did not have to believe him. A rational jury could have found, beyond a reasonable doubt, that [the] defendant was the driver. For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.”

Greene County State’s Attorney Caleb Briscoe welcomed the decision, saying, “I feel the appellate court made the right decision in upholding the jury’s ruling in this case.”

Our experienced personal injury lawyers at Spiros Law, P.C. are dedicated to fighting for the rights of our personal injury accident clients in Kankakee and other areas of Illinois. If you are hurt because of an unfortunate incident, get in touch with our attorneys by calling our offices today at (815) 929-9292 or (217) 443-4343.