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Crime & Courts

No bond reduction in fatal DUI case

Benjamin Black
Benjamin Black

GENEVA – A 28-year-old Sycamore man accused of having opiates in his system during a crash that killed an 11-year-old and severely injured an 18-year-old remains in Kane County jail after a judge declined to reduce his bond.

Kane County Judge James Hallock declined to reduce Benjamin Black's bond from $250,000 to $50,000 on Wednesday. Hallock cited the penalties Black would face if convicted, his pending felony case in DeKalb County and the allegations that drugs were involved in the crash, defense attorney D.J. Tegeler said.

Black, of the 1500 block of Sparkhayes Drive, is charged with aggravated driving under the influence in connection to the Feb. 27 crash that killed 11-year-old Matthew Ranken of Sycamore and seriously injured Teale Noble, 18, of Sycamore.

Black was driving a Ford Expedition that smashed into the back of a Chevrolet Cavalier carrying the two, causing a crash that involved two other vehicles, police said. Ranken and Noble were passengers in the vehicle, which was stopped in traffic along Route 64 in Kane County.

The charges were filed May 7, after authorities said lab results showed Black had heroin metabolites in his system at the time of the crash. That typically means a person had recently consumed heroin, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they were feeling the effect of the drug at that particular time.

Tegeler emphasized Black’s SUV slid on ice before smashing into the car carrying Ranken and Noble. Black got out of his vehicle n and tried to help others involved with the crash and then cooperated with police, Tegeler said.

The case is next due in Kane County court Aug. 9.

Black also is facing felony charges in DeKalb County. He is accused of stealing more than $4,000 of coiled copper and brass March 11 in Cortland. That case is next due in court Aug. 28.

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