Yorkville man found guilty of felony DUI in friend’s death
By Matt Hanley firstname.lastname@example.org November 7, 2012 12:20PM
Updated: November 7, 2012 9:42PM
YORKVILLE — A Yorkville man is facing up to 14 years in prison after being convicted of felony aggravated drunken driving in a crash that killed his friend.
Keith Stanislaus, 22, of the 500 block of Yellowstone Drive, was found guilty late Tuesday night by a Kendall County jury.
Stanislaus was driving when his car veered off the road near Kennedy and McHugh roads last April. The 1999 Honda Civic sheared off a utility pole, hit several small trees and ended up in the yard of a home on Kennedy Road. A passenger in the car, 21-year-old Ryan Perina of Bristol, was killed in the crash.
The jury needed less than two hours to convict Stanislaus after a two-day trial. He now faces between three and 14 years in prison, although he could receive probation if a judge finds extraordinary circumstances were involved in the crash or his life. If sentenced to prison, Stanislaus would have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
“These types of cases are always difficult, when you have someone killed who was friends with the person who was charged,” said Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis. “[It’s] one more example of when people have too much to drink, horrific things can happen.”
One blood-alcohol reading taken shortly after the crash put Stanislaus’ blood-alcohol content at more than twice the legal limit.
Paramedics found Perina in the front seat of the car. Perina was lying across another friend Jedidiah Lightfoot, 20, of Yorkville. Perina suffered severe injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene. Lightfoot survived the crash.
The back seat of the car was so crushed that it was nearly touching the front seat, paramedics testified at the trial.
Police said they found a broken rum bottle and a pipe for smoking marijuana a few feet from the car.
Perina was a 2009 graduate of Yorkville High School, where he had wrestled and played baseball. He was working with his family’s construction business at the time of his death.