DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA)–Four years ago Jeffrey Denning, a state police officer. Was charged with reckless homicide and conduct after killing decatur woman kelly wilson in a car accident.
Today in court, he pleaded guilty for the count of reckless conduct. His earlier charges of reckless homicide were dismissed.
In 2016, Jeffrey Denning was responding to a call. An officer in Mahomet was shot, although denning was in Decatur at the time of the call. He drove over 100 miles per hour trying to get from Decatur to Mahomet, and went 70 over the speed limit, when his squad car hit Kelly Wilson, killing her.
Denning drove without his lights or police sirens when he crashed into Wilson. Kelly’s father Leo Wilson said through the last five years he never thought he’d be so dissappointed with the justice system.
He said if roles were reversed, he and any other citizen would be facing years of jail time, and while he has no hard feelings toward the officer, he did express frustration over Denning not getting a more appropriate sentence.
Karen Mayson, whose daughter was close friends with Kelly growing up, said it’s hard to justify driving that fast in any circumstance.
“That’s totally careless, I don’t care if you were on a call or what the situation was. That’s a horrible intersection to begin with.”
Denning will receive his sentence in late march. It’s a class-a misdemeanor. He faces a maximum of 364 days of jail time, and/or a $2500 fine. His defense attorney has not explained why or how his original homicide charge was dropped.