Before a socially distanced but crowded Kendall County Courtroom on Monday afternoon, Kendall County Judge Robert Pilmer sentenced an Aurora man to 12 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections in the 2018 fatal hit and run death of Oswego High School Softball Coach Amanda Stanton.
Many family and friends of both Stanton and of the defendant, Nehemiah Williams, were present.
Judge Pilmer denied motions to reconsider his January ruling and to grant a new trial. Several police officers from Kane County jurisdictions testified about past DUI and other cases Williams was or is charged in. Williams was found not guilty in a North Aurora case and an Elgin case is still pending. Four felony convictions were also presented by the prosecution but Williams' defense argued that convictions dated back to the late 90's and that the picture of Williams over the past 20 years is not as a someone who doesn't follow the law but is that of a good father, caretaker and worker.
Prior to sentencing, Amanda Stanton's Father, Jerry Stanton gave an emotional testimony about his family's loss and the loss of Amanda Stanton in the community. He told the courtroom that his daughter's death caused him to retire from being a high school baseball coach.
Stanton told WSPY his daughter's calling was as a coach.
Stanton said that he was "disappointed" in the sentence length but that it was within the expected range the family was told Williams might receive.
Williams gave his own statement to the court and said that he would not pretend to know how it felt to lose a child or sister.
Attorney Dawn Projansky sought a term served through,"periodic imprisonment" or allowing time to be served while continuing to work but that was not imposed.
Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis sought a 15-year sentence but felt Judge Pilmer's sentence was fair. He had this message when speaking before the court and the press.
Williams was sentenced to nine years for Failure to Report/Leaving the Scene of an Accident Involving Death, three years for Reckless Homicide and three years for Driving While License Suspended. The Reckless Homicide offense will be served consecutively and the Driving While License Suspended offense will be served consecutively and concurrently.
Each offense will also require varying years of mandatory supervised release, following the sentence conclusion. Projansky filed an appeal which will be transferred to the office of the Illinois Appellate Defender.
Williams receives credit for 268 days already served in the Kendall County Jail.