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.