Try to flee to Guatemala
The jury trial concluded late Wednesday evening, August 10, 2022, in Lake County court with guilty verdicts on all counts related to the 2019 DUI collision in Fremont Township.
Victor H. was convicted. Ortiz, 54, charged with two counts of aggravated DUI, a second-degree felony, and two counts of aggravated driving with a blood concentration level of more than 0.08, a second-degree felony.
“I would like to thank the sheriff’s office for their wonderful work on this case, our dedicated state attorneys general for their hard work taking this case to jury, and our victim specialists for supporting families throughout court proceedings. We hope these rulings play some role in helping the family, and we continue to express Our deepest condolences for their loss.”
– State Attorney Eric Reinhart
The jury trial began on Monday, August 8, 2022, and lasted three days. The jurors heard various witnesses from the state, including law enforcement and medical experts, who explained how the collision occurred and the defendant’s physical condition at the time of the accident.
The defendant chose to testify on the last day of the trial and denied consuming any type of alcohol on the day of the accident, although medical expert witnesses testified that Ortiz’s blood alcohol concentration level was nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08. Ortiz also denied crossing into opposite lanes, and had generally contradictory testimony about what state witnesses had explained that night.
On June 8, 2019, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to a motor vehicle accident on Fairfield Road, north of Route 60. The Lake County Mayor’s Technical Investigation Unit determined that an Ortiz truck was heading south on Fairfield Road when it crossed the center and side line. Pass a Honda Odyssey before hitting a Kia.
The man in the Honda Odyssey had non-life-threatening injuries. Kia’s two occupants, Barbara Gulick of Ingleside and Sandra Forcht of Round Lake Beach, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Oritz’s arrest warrant was issued after the sheriff’s office received DUI test results. Ortiz, of Round Lake Beach, attempted to flee to Guatemala, but Chicago police officers were able to locate and arrest him.
Ortiz was kept in the Lake County Jail and was held with a $1 million bond. After Ortiz’s conviction, Judge George Strickland, presiding judge, revoked his ability to issue a cash pledge.
With Ortiz convicted on all counts, he will face a mandatory prison sentence of 6 to 28 years to serve at 85%. A hearing is scheduled for September 15, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.
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