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Crime & Courts

Black to ask judge today to reduce prison sentence

SYCAMORE – Benjamin Black’s attorney will ask a judge today to reduce his 12-year prison sentence for having heroin in his system during a crash that killed a Sycamore boy.

The hearing will start at 1:30 p.m. at the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles.

In his appeal, Black argues that Kane County Judge James Hallock mistakenly considered that Black, 29, of Sycamore, caused injury or death when issuing Black’s sentence. The sentencing range Black faced – three to 14 years in prison – was based on a death being involved with the aggravated driving under the influence, so the judge should not have considered it a second time, Black said in court records filed by his lawyer, D.J. Tegeler.

Black is also questioning the accuracy of a Kane County Sheriff’s deputy, who said at the sentencing hearing that neither snow nor ice were on the roadway the night of the crash.

Black pleaded guilty in November to two counts of aggravated driving under the influence in connection with the Feb. 27, 2013, crash that killed 11-year-old Matthew Ranken and injured Teale Noble, now 19, of Sycamore.

Black was driving his SUV about 7:30 p.m. near the intersection of Route 64 and Peplow Road in Kane County when he crashed into the back of a Chevrolet Cavalier, authorities said. Ranken’s oldest brother, Nick Weber, of Sycamore, was driving the Cavalier, and Ranken and Noble were passengers.

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