Victims of New Year’s Eve car crash finally in court -

Victims of New Year’s Eve car crash finally in court

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( – After nine months, the victims of a suspected drunk driver finally saw their case go to court.

“I had a traumatic brain injury and it limited me from walking and talking,” said Emma Casey, who was seriously hurt in the car crash. Her boyfriend, 20-year-old Xander Wohlstadter was killed. “I was a paraplegic so two of my limbs were paralyzed. My right leg and right arm.”

Belleville resident Willie Green is facing multiple charges stemming from this case. Investigators say he ran a red light and smashed into Xander and Emma’s car, then sped off.

“I’m pleased that the justice part of this whole process is starting,” said Xander’s mother, Beth Lewandowski. “It’s been eight months for the test results. It’s been eight months before they could bring charges against him.”

Prosecutors charged Green with involuntary manslaughter, driving under the influence, armed criminal action, and leaving the scene of an accident. Green’s attorney asked the judge to reduce his bond from $250,000 to $100,000. The judge refused.

“I’m really happy it wasn’t lowered,” Casey said.

At the time of the crash, investigators say Green’s blood alcohol level was 1.6, twice the legal limit. Prosecutors also unveiled new evidence for the judge. In 2006, Green had another DUI arrest in Illinois. He also failed to appear in court on a current warrant in St. Clair County. Prosecutors say he is a flight risk and are searching to see if Green has any other DUI cases anywhere else.

“I could tell it was really hard for the judge to hear that he had prior offenses,” Casey said. “And it was hard for me to hear that.”

Both Lewandowski and Casey know this is just the start of the legal process, but believe it is a good first step.

“I think that justice was definitely served,” Casey said.

News 4 heard from one of the families that Green was able to come up with enough cash and property to post the $250,000 bond and has been released. If this is the case, he will be placed on house arrest with a GPS tracker. He also had to turn in his driver’s license.

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