KANKAKEE — Louis A. Morez, of Manteno, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Monday for causing the death of Kristin Agrue in a alcohol-related snowmobile accident in December 2016.
Judge Thomas Cunnington announced his decision after a three-hour sentence hearing.
“It was a tragic, tragic case, as it is with all alcohol-related accidents,” Cunnington said. “This (accident) was avoidable if the defendant had not consumed alcohol, not ingested cocaine a few days prior. Bad choices were made.”
Morez could have received probation or up to 14 years in prison. He has 30 days to appeal the sentence. His next court appearance is July 18 for post-sentencing motions.
Morez will have to serve 85 percent (eight years, six months) of the sentence under state guidelines. He will receive credit for time served and will have to pay fines and court costs.
It was Morez’s fourth DUI conviction. His others came in 1993, 1998 and 2002. He had his driver’s license revoked in 1999.
Kristin’s parents, Michael Agrue and Tammy Agrue, both gave statements.
“You killed my daughter, I will never forgive you,” Tammy Agrue wrote in her impact statement.
Michael Agrue read his statement. He brought a picture of Kristin to the podium and showed it to Morez.
“This is my daughter. This is who you killed,” he said.
Asking for the maximum 14 years, Michael Agrue asked Cunnington to send a message that drunk driving has a heavy price to pay. “Please protect the community with a strong sentence.”
Morez broke down as he read his statement.
“I deeply apologize for the accident and the death of your daughter. I ask for forgiveness,” he said.
Morez’s attorney, Ed Glazar, argued for a sentence of six months and probation. He said Morez has no prior felonies.
“Louis was doomed from the start,” Glazar said. “His parents, his grandparents and an uncle were all alcoholics. It is an understatement that alcohol problems run in this family.”
Morez’s wife, Tonia O’Keefe Morez, testified that her husband was a functional alcoholic, who has turned his life around since the accident.
He stopped drinking, attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings multiple times per week and found religion again.
The 43-year-old Morez and Agrue’s boyfriend, Brian J. Johnson, 41, were both arrested for operating a snowmobile under the influence resulting in a death. Johnson’s trial is set for Aug. 19 before Cunnington. Johnson is represented by attorney Tony Brasel.
Agrue, 24, 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 Morez, who was riding behind them.