Judge increases Steinheimer’s bond following arrest

Crystal Steinheimer (photo courtesy Monroe County Sheriff’s Department)

A Monroe County judge increased the bond amount for Crystal Steinheimer to $50,000 during a Thursday hearing she could not attend due to her recent hospitalization for an undisclosed medical issue.

On July 12, Steinheimer, 20, of Red Bud, was arrested for driving on a suspended license in Red Bud. This violated a condition of her original recognizance bond after she was charged for reckless homicide and aggravated DUI relating to a Jan. 10 head-on crash on Route 159 south of Hecker that resulted in the deaths of Red Bud-area girls Abby Liefer, 19, and Hannah Porter, 20.

On Thursday, Judge Dennis Doyle told Steinheimer’s attorney, public defender Arlie Traughber, his client had 24 hours to either post $5,000 bail or report to the county jail. This 24-hour notice would be amended if developments caused her to stay in the hospital, the judge said.  She was hospitalized at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville on Monday.

Monroe County Sheriff Neal Rohlfing said Steinheimer reported to the Monroe County Jail in Waterloo early Friday afternoon and to this point has not posted bond.

The increased bond was requested, Monroe County State’s Attorney Kris Reitz said, because she put the public’s safety in danger by violating the conditions of her original bond and isn’t taking her charges seriously.

Steinheimer has entered a not guilty plea to the charges, which allege she was intoxicated the night of Jan. 10 when her northbound Chevrolet Aveo crossed the center line of Route 159 near Sunset Lane, colliding with a Chevrolet Cobalt driven by Liefer. That area of highway lies on a curve and is a no passing zone.

Liefer and Porter, a back-seat passenger, were killed in the crash. Front-seat passenger Grace Richards suffered only minor injuries.

Steinheimer, who was alone in her vehicle, was seriously injured. An Illinois State Police trooper testified during a preliminary hearing that tests taken at Saint Louis University Hospital when Steinheimer arrived indicated a blood alcohol level of .179 — more than twice the legal limit of .08. The legal drinking age is 21 in Illinois.

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