PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — A former Bradley University who struck and killed two people while intoxicated pleaded guilty to four charges on Thursday.
Stephanie Melgoza plead guilty to two counts of aggravated DUI resulting in death and two counts of aggravated reckless driving causing great bodily harm.
The previous charges of cannabis possession, illegal transportation of alcohol, and failure to reduce speed were dropped.
“We thought it was more prudent for her to admit that she was in the wrong, and accept responsibility for what occurred here, rather than being defiant,” said Melgoza’s attorney Kevin Sullivan. “If you don’t have a good defense or it’s not likely you think you’re going to win the case in a jury trial, it might end up making her situation worse because it would then appear she’s not accepting responsibility for her conduct.”
Andrea Rosewicz, 43, of Avon, Ohio, and 55-year-old Paul Prowant of Seattle were struck and killed by Melgoza on April 10, 2022 near Throttle Bar and Grill in East Peoria.
Melgoza had previously pleaded not guilty in May.
“We’re not here to desecrate or do anything but to preserve the dignity of the two people here that did not survive. We can’t bring them back, I wish we could…This is a tragedy. My client is exceptionally remorseful about this and I think she will be for the rest of her entire lifetime,” said Sullivan.
Her sentencing has been set for April 27. She faces a minimum of six years and maximum of 28 years. However, Sullivan said the court does have discretion to impose probation.