©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|Mahnesmith Sentence Reduction Denied
|A Galesburg woman who was convicted of causing an accident after her car smashed into a parked car with a driver has had her sentence upheld.
Knox County Circuit Court Judge James Stewart Wednesday denied a motion to reconsider the eight-year prison sentence given to 34-year old Lori Mahnesmith. Mahnesmith pleaded guilty in August to Aggravated Driving Under the Influence and was sentenced in October after allegedly leaving an Allens Avenue roadway May 9 and striking a parked car occupied by 75-year old Madge Gossage, killing her.
Knox County Public Defender James Harrell argued in making the motion that victims statements were given too much weight and that they specifically addressed the death of the victim, and cited Mahnesmith's lack of any other major convictions on her driving record. Harrell asked the judge to possibly relocate Mahnesmith to a drug treatment facility to serve out the remainder of her sentence.
Knox County State's Attorney John Pepmeyer argued, in part, that Mahnesmith had already been out on bond and had a warrant out for her arrest when the accident occurred. Pepmeyer said that witnesses had testified that Mahnesmith was more worried about what was going to happen to her and not concerned with Gossage's situation.
Stewart said that Mahnesmith would have been an unlikely candidate for probation because she had violated court rules in the past. Stewart said he considered the victim impact statements to an extent and called the case egregious.
An appeal of the sentence is expected, and Stewart says Wednesday's hearing was a necessary step in that process.
(Lori Mahnesmith, as she was booked into the Dwight Correctional Center. Photo from Illinois Department of Corrections.)
|12 03 08 by Newsroom
Click here for the WGIL News Archive
Click here for national news
The following provision applies to all visitors (which shall include persons and representatives of legal entities, whether such representatives are persons or digital engines of a kind that crawls, indexes, scrapes, copies, stores or transmits digital content). By accessing this Web site or digital service, you specifically acknowledge and agree that: (i) Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium; (ii) No Associated Press materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use; (iii) The Associated Press will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing; (iv) The Associated Press is an intended third party beneficiary of these terms and conditions and it may exercise all rights and remedies available to it; and (v) The Associated Press reserves the right to audit possible unauthorized commercial use of AP materials or any portion thereof at any time.