It’s clear that heroin is a serious, ongoing crime-and-safety issue in Kane County, but a recent court case serves as a sorrowful reminder that substance abusers aren’t the only people who suffer from the drug’s fatal impact.
Joshua E. Spudich, 24, of St. Charles, pleaded guilty today (Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015) of killing a woman while he was driving under the influence of heroin over the Thanksgiving holiday last year. He pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated DUI (heroin) causing death, a Class 2 felony, in exchange for a sentence of 11 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Circuit Judge Susan Clancy Boles accepted the plea.
Prosecutors presented evidence that at about 2 p.m. Nov. 28, 2014, Spudich was driving a 2003 Hyundai Santa Fe south on North Second Street (Route 31) in the vicinity of Timbers Trail on the north side of St. Charles when he crossed the center line and crashed into a northbound 2004 Toyota Corolla driven by 65-year-old Susan Gorecki of St. Charles. Gorecki was taken to a local hospital, where she died as a result of injuries from the crash.
Spudich told police that he had ingested the heroin at a friend’s house shortly before the crash. An analysis of Spudich’s urine sample, which was taken shortly after the crash, revealed the presence of heroin, marijuana, cocaine, diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax). At the time of the crash, Spudich’s driver’s license was revoked.
Spudich has prior convictions for battery, DUI and theft, all in 2010 and 2011.
According to Illinois law, Spudich must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence. He was given credit for at least 306 days served in the Kane County jail, where he has been held since his arrest in lieu of $1 million bail.
“As most people were celebrating the long Thanksgiving weekend with loved ones, Mr. Spudich chose to observe the holiday with a cocktail of dangerous narcotics. His selfish decision to take heroin, cocaine and other illegal drugs and then drive — criminal acts by themselves — had violent and deadly results. He caused immense pain to many, taking the life of a wife, mother, grandmother and sister, robbing multiple generations of her wisdom and love at a time when they were preparing for the Christmas season,” said Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon, who, with Assistant State’s Attorney Alex Bederka, prosecuted the case.
“I hope Susan’s family members feel that they have received justice with this sentence. Thanks to the St. Charles Police Department for their thorough investigation of this case,” McMahon said.
SOURCE: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office