Fults man going to prison for fatal crash

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A Fults man was sentenced this week to prison for a 2016 crash in rural Monroe County that resulted in the death of a 63-year-old Belleville woman.

Timothy J. Burns, 24, entered a guilty plea to aggravated DUI in July stemming from the May 13, 2016 crash on Maeystown Road near KK Road. Court information states that Burns drove a 2002 Ford Ranger while under the influence of a drug or drugs that rendered him incapable of safely driving and was involved in a crash that resulted in the death of Marcia L. Andres.

Monroe County State’s Attorney Chris Hitzemann said Burn pled “open” to the charge, meaning the sides were unable to come to an agreed disposition. The matter was decided during a sentencing hearing at the Monroe County Courthouse on Wedneday. 

Hitzemann said that during this hearing, the court heard that Burns had THC in his system at the time of the crash. 

Judge Gene Gross presided over sentencing. The case had been assigned to visiting Judge Julia Gomric, but she recused herself because her husband, St. Clair County State’s Attorney Jim Gomric, had represented the defendant prior to his appointment to the state’s attorney position. 

Burns faced Defendant faced a maximum penalty of 3-14 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and would have been eligible for probation if “exceptional circumstances” were found at the hearing, Hitzemann said.

After a nearly 90-minute hearing, Judge Gross found that exceptional circumstances did not exist in this case and he sentenced Burns to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. 

Burns must serve 85 percent of his sentence. 

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