Damaging testimony against the state from the former director of Illinois State Police

5:07 PM, Apr 20, 2010   |    comments
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  • Matt Mitchell
  • Tom Keefe.

By Kathleen Berger

KSDK -- New testimony in the civil case against former Illinois State Trooper Matt Mitchell and the Illinois State Police may prove damaging to the state. The former director for the Illinois State Police took the stand Tuesday, saying Trooper Mitchell's actions the day he killed two teenage sisters are "indefensible."

"When people ask, 'what sort of damages is the family seeking?' I don't know. I mean, what amount of money is there? I mean, the loss is incalculable," said Tom Keefe, the Uhl family's attorney.

The Uhl family believes the civil trial is their opportunity for justice. When Mitchell took the stand Monday, he only added fuel to the fire.

"To literally throw that in their face yesterday was absolutely intolerable," said Keefe.

Mitchell testified the deadly crash that killed the teenage sisters was not his fault, after pleading guilty to reckless homicide in the criminal trial last week. He admitted to driving 126 miles per hour to a call that was already secured by police and medical personnel. That's when he crashed into the Uhl's car, killing 18-year-old Jessica and 13-year-old Kelli. For that, he's getting 30 months probation.

Despite what Mitchell now is saying about it, the family's attorney in the civil trial called to the stand: Larry Trent, the former director for the Illinois State Police. Trent testified Mitchell's actions are indefensible.

"So the director of the state police further condemned what all of us intuitively understand, namely: what in the heck are we doing here," said Keefe.

Mitchell's former boss also testified about him driving those high speeds while using his cell phone.

"That 126 miles per hour, plus on his cell phone and texting with an email device, is absolutely outrageous," said Keefe.

As far as a dollar amount in this case, the family's attorney says he may or may not suggest a dollar amount. He will likely ask for fair and just compensation for the family's losses. The state will have a chance to introduce its case on May 3.


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