Man gets 3 years for dragging death
Shomaker pleaded guilty in December to reckless homicide
DIXON – A Dixon man who pleaded guilty in December to reckless homicide was sentenced to 3 years in prison Wednesday morning.
In June, Kimberly Landwer was dragged for about 20 feet after she reached into the passenger side window of 19-year-old Keith J. Shomaker's car as he continued to drive.
Landwer, 25, fell, hitting her head on the pavement in the 100 block of East Seventh Street. She later died at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria from her injuries.
Shomaker was apparently using drugs around the time of the incident.
Reckless homicide, a Class 3 felony, carries a maximum prison sentence of 5 years.
Before announcing his decision, Judge Ron Jacobson delicately explained his reasoning, walking through the process that he took to get to his ruling.
Of the most important, it seemed, was Shomaker's history of drug abuse.
During Tuesday's hearing, Lee County State's Attorney Anna Sacco-Miller brought up the fact that Shomaker attended an in-patient drug rehabilitation program during the month of November, and that after completing it, offered his guilty plea. One month after offering his plea, and while out on bond, Shomaker then twice tested positive for drugs and admitted to using marijuana and Tylenol 3.
In February, then, Shomaker was charged with possession with intent to deliver drugs.
His other current charges in Lee County include theft, burglary, and criminal damage to property.
But, as Judge Jacobson acknowledged during his sentencing, everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, which is why Jacobson hinged the majority of his sentence on Shomaker's addiction to drugs.
"Drug habits are extremely difficult to shake and extremely difficult to deal with," Jacobson said.
And because of that, he said, it would be "incorrect and wrong to consider [the defendant] for probation."
"You're actually given an opportunity to make changes in your life," the judge said. "What happened can never be erased. ... At this point, you're at a very critical moment in your life."
Jacobson asked that while in prison, Shomaker consider taking part in the prison's drug treatment program, and take the opportunity to make positive life changes.