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Eight-year sentence in fatal crash

KevKrohn | Supplied photo

Kevin Krohn | Supplied photo

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Updated: August 21, 2014 6:52AM



Will County Circuit Court Judge Edward Burmila on Friday sentenced a New Lenox man to eight years in prison for an aggravated driving under the influence charge that led to an accident which killed his passenger.

Kevin Krohn, 23, had faced up to 14 years in prison for the Aug. 25, 2012 crash near Frankfort that killed his friend Jake Stevens, 22, of Manhattan. The car burst into flames on impact after Krohn lost control of the vehicle and it smashed into a retaining wall, a tree and a large metal phone-switching box, according to police and court records.

Krohn was driving on Steger Road near 104th Avenue in Frankfort Township when the crash occurred. Krohn was hospitalized with compound fractures in both of his legs.

Krohn pleaded guilty in court on Monday. He had been free on bond, but was taken into custody that day after Stevens’ younger brother said he had seen Krohn this year at an event in Michigan, which violated a condition of his bond.

“I lost a child myself,” Burmila said before sentencing Krohn. “I know exactly how the victim’s family feels.”

Jake Stevens’ father, Phillip Stevens, said after the sentencing that he was “neither happy nor sad” about the prison term Krohn received.

“It still doesn’t bring my son back,” he said. “Now, another of the nation’s young men will (spend time in prison) gaining nothing for us or himself.”

The judge said he didn’t consider the defense argument that Krohn should be eligible for probation rather than prison time. His lawyer cited Krohn’s young age, the fact he has no prior criminal history and that he admitted guilt.

Burmila said he did consider the fact that Krohn refused to identify the body of his passenger immediately after the crash. Stevens was identified three days later through dental records.

In the meantime, Burmila said, the family held on to false hope that Stevens was still alive.

“(Krohn) inflicted unnecessary and additional pain on the family in this case,” the judge said.

Cannabis was found in Krohn’s system after the crash, and he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.09, according to police. Burmila said he learned from Krohn’s mother that her son continued to use marijuana while out on bond.

Krohn settled a wrongful death suit brought by Jake Stevens’ mother, Kim Stevens, last year for $250,000 in damages.

Krohn’s attorney, Donald MacNeil, said he’ll ask Burmila to reconsider Krohn’s sentencing at an Aug. 14 hearing.



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