KANKAKEE — A Manteno man was sentenced earlier this month for operating a snowmobile while intoxicated in a fatal accident in 2016.

Brian J. Johnson was found guilty by a jury on Feb 28, 2020, of misdemeanor operating a snowmobile under the influence of drugs in an accident in which his girlfriend, Kristin Agrue, died in December 2016.

However, jurors were unable to decide if Johnson was guilty or not guilty of the felony charge of operating a snowmobile under the influence of drugs that results in the death of a person.

Kankakee County Circuit Judge Thomas Cunnington declared a mistrial on that charge.

Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe said the three charges dismissed would not have added to either the outcome or sentencing range.

Johnson started serving his sentence on Tuesday in the Jerome Combs Detention Center. He was sentenced to 300 days. He gets credit for every day served, under state sentencing guidelines.

Cunnington ordered Johnson be placed on 18 months of reporting probation, must complete 10 hours of DUI risk education and 12 hours of early intervention treatment.

Agrue was riding as a passenger on Johnson’s snowmobile on Dec. 18, 2016, when it jumped a culvert along 11000N Road near 2600E Road in Manteno Township. Agrue was tossed from the snowmobile and was struck by the snowmobile of Louis A. Morez, of Manteno, who was riding behind them.

In March 2019, Morez was found guilty of four charges of operating a snowmobile while under the influence resulting in the death of Agrue, following a bench trial before Judge Cunnington. Morez is currently serving 10 years in prison.

Police say both Morez and Johnson were under the influence of alcohol and cocaine at the time of the fatal crash.

A urine sample taken at the hospital after the accident found Johnson had cocaine in his system, police say.

Jeff Bonty is a reporter for The Daily Journal. He can be reached at jbonty@daily-journal.com and 815-937-3366.


Jeff Bonty has worked for The Daily Journal since September 1986, starting in the sports department before moving to news reporting in 2002. He's a native of Indiana and graduate of Purdue University. His email is jbonty@daily-journal.com.