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Reduced Sentence Sought by Woman In Fatal DUI Crash

Alia Bernard has a seven-year prison sentence for a crash that killed a Tri Cities couple.

The Aurora woman sentenced to seven years in prison for causing a crash that killed a St. Charles couple in a 2009 wants a judge to reduce her time behind bars.

, 27, is being held in the Dwight Correctional Center after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated driving under the influence relating to the chain-reaction crash near Elburn that left Wade and Denise Thomas dead and several more injured.

Bernard on Feb. 8 to concurrent seven years prison terms. A week later, her attorney, Bruce Brandwein filed a motion seeking the sentence be reduced. Anderson will listen to the request at a hearing set for March 22.

Brandwein, who sought probation, states in the filing that Bernard never underwent a professional evaluation to determine if she had any drug or alcohol problems. Absent of that, he wants Anderson to reconsider the sentence and find that “extraordinary circumstances” do exist to place Bernard on probation.

A state Supreme Court ruling last year allowed prosecutors to indict Bernard on aggravated DUI charges because she had a small amount of marijuana in her system, although it was conceded that the drug did not impair her.

Bernard said she was reaching for a pair of sunglasses when her car slammed into the back of another vehicle, which was pushed into a pack of motorcycles heading in the opposite direction. At sentencing, Brandwein characterized the incident as a terrible accident, but said Bernard’s lack of criminal history and other factors should be seen as the “extraordinary circumstances” to qualify her for probation instead of prison.

Brandwein’s motion also suggests Anderson could recommend Bernard be placed in a so-called boot camp program, which would shorten her sentence if she completed it successfully, or shave one year off her current seven-year sentence.

Brandwein’s motion does not indicate whether Bernard has any drug or alcohol issues. He did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment on Thursday. Prosecutors have not filed a formal response to the motion, and did not have any comment on the motion.

Erica Blair March 12, 2013 at 08:41 PM
I can see that reading comprehension is a problem for you dooduh. I said I feel SAFER with her in jail. In jail she can have drugs in her system, and reach for her sun glasses and not kill anyone. Have you reflected on the fact that she plead GUILTY? Repeat, SHE pleaded guilty. (I'm thinking that YOU have a personal problem with this girl...but that's just me)
Erica Blair March 12, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Dooduh I NEVER accidentally get in a car. See my note below about reading comprehension. GED then Jr. college might also help. Good luck.
Bill Doodauh March 12, 2013 at 09:32 PM
Omg... don't need to say anything! Lol
Erica Blair March 12, 2013 at 11:55 PM
Actually Matt, since Mr. Dooduh has invited another look up this dead dog's patootie, reaching FOR your sunglasses taking your eyes off the road, drugs in your system, tired from the night before IS impaired driving. Particularly when you plead guilty. And I would say the evidence was in the blood test, and the bodies. RIP Good luck to her serving her term, what a shame.
Erica Blair March 14, 2013 at 05:09 AM
Dooduh, I get that you had to put your jammies on, but did mommie & daddie also take their computer out of the bsmt, or just change the password? Good luck.

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