Illinois man pleads guilty in fatal Town of Beloit crash case

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Austin Montgomery/Beloit Daily News At right: Cori L. Reed, 35, of McConnell, Illinois, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the charge of homicide by use of a vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration in the death of Eric Gustason, 27, of Lena, Illinois from a crash that occurred at around 4 a.m., Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 on County Highway BT near the intersection of County Highway S.

JANESVILLE - An Illinois man pleaded guilty Wednesday in Rock County Circuit Court to a charge stemming from a September 2018 fatal crash in the Town of Beloit.

Cori L. Reed, 35, of McConnell, Illinois, pleaded guilty to the charge of homicide by use of a vehicle with a prohibited alcohol concentration. In the plea agreement, he admitted responsibility in the death of Eric Gustason, 27, of Lena, Illinois. Gustason died in the crash that occurred at around 4 a.m., Sept. 23, 2018 on County Highway BT near the intersection of County Highway S.

As part of the plea agreement, the Rock County District Attorney's Office limited its sentence request to 14 years imprisonment and 14 years post-release supervision.

According to court records, Reed was driving a Lincoln SUV eastbound on Highway BT and failed to stop at the intersection with County S. The SUV hit a ditch, rolled over and came to rest on its roof facing west in a cornfield. At Wednesday's hearing, Rock County Assistant District Attorney Katherine Buker said crash reports showed Reed was traveling at 72 miles-per-hour and was accelerating just before the crash. Buker also said Reed remained on scene for over an hour and did not call emergency services.

Gustason was reportedly not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle and died at the hospital.

Buker and defense attorney Niles Wyosnick argued to Rock County Judge Barbara McCrory regarding Reed's bond. Wyosnick argued Reed's bond should remain until sentencing due to the fact Reed underwent outpatient counseling and has strong family support.

McCrory said due to the serious of the homicide charge, she would revoke his bond.

Reed was remanded to custody at the Rock County Jail, and he will be sentenced Jan. 21.

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