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Sentencing delayed for man who left children after crash

Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014 11:47 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, April 25, 2014 9:17 a.m. CDT
James Colpen, dob 6/19/79, is accused of obstructing justice

SYCAMORE – A judge delayed a sentencing hearing for the 34-year-old DeKalb man who left two children after a crash only to discover he wasn't eligible for drug court after all.

DeKalb County Associate Judge John McAdams said Thursday that James Colpen was at a high risk for failing in less intensive programs and needed intensive drug treatment, but he wasn't eligible for drug court because of his a criminal history, which included two prison sentences. So, McAdams continued Colpen's sentencing hearing to May 6.

Colpen faces up to 18 years in prison for two separate offenses. He admitted to stealing a television from Walmart on Feb. 28, 2013, in DeKalb.

About a month later, March 25, 2013, he sat in the passenger seat as his 13-year-old niece drove a vehicle with his 5-year-old son improperly secured in the back seat, authorities said. After the 13-year-old crashed the car into Chuck's Auto Center, 1625 DeKalb Ave. in Sycamore, Colpen drove off and left the two children behind.

On April 17, prosecutors urged McAdams to send Colpen to prison for 5 years, while his defense attorney suggested he receive probation coupled with drug treatment.

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