DJ FILE - Courts

JOLIET — Despite misleading testimony from a sheriff’s deputy before a grand jury, a Will County judge refused late last week to dismiss an indictment against an Orland Park man charged in a crash in Beecher that killed a pregnant woman and her three young sons.

Will County Judge Daniel Rippy said Friday that while he had concerns about the statement made to the grand jury, it did not rise “to the level of a violation of due process.”

Sean Woulfe, 27, is charged in connection with the July 24, 2017, crash at Corning Road and Yates Avenue in Beecher. The crash claimed the lives of Lindsey Schmidt, her unborn child and her three sons. Woulfe, who now lives in Orland Park, is out on bond awaiting trial.

Woulfe was traveling east when he sped through a stop sign and slammed into the family’s vehicle. A grand jury indicted Woulfe in September 2017.

Woulfe’s attorney, George Lenard, said the 16-count indictment should be dismissed because the prosecution’s only witness, a Will County Sheriff’s deputy, provided misleading information suggesting that Woulfe had told investigators he was familiar with the road he was traveling at the time of the crash.

During a hearing on Tuesday, Lenard said police reports indicate the opposite. Woulfe told investigators he was unfamiliar with the road or area he was traveling at the time of the crash. At the time of the accident, Woulfe lived in Beecher.

Lenard argued police reports indicate the opposite and that Woulfe had told investigators he was not familiar with the road or the area he was traveling at the time of the crash. Woulfe lived in Beecher.

Rippy noted that after Will County Sheriff’s Deputy Henri Wright said Woulfe was familiar with the road, prosecutors asked if Woulfe made those statements to him directly. Wright indicated that he did not and that he was recalling what another deputy said.

Prosecutors allege that Woulfe was speeding in excess of 20 mph over the 55-mph speed limit, that he disobeyed a stop sign and that his reckless acts caused the death of Schmidt and her three children. Two of the counts allege that he cause the death of Schmidt’s unborn child.

A trial date has not yet been set, but Woulfe is scheduled to appear again in court on Sept. 6.

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