A former Brookfield resident, charged with killing his passenger when he rammed his motorcycle into the rear end of a car on First Avenue, pleaded guilty to aggravated drunken driving at a court hearing on Oct. 14 and was sentenced to three and a half years in state prison.

James Duddleston II, 28, was drunk when, according to witnesses, his motorcycle roared northbound on First Avenue in Lyons from Ogden Avenue at an estimated 90 mph at 4:20 a.m. on Sept. 4, 2010.

Behind Duddleston on his 2002 Honda racing-style motorcycle – modified by removing the rear pegs and seat – was 24-year-old Lissette Loncola of Lyons.

The motorcycle slammed into the back end of a northbound Cadillac, throwing Duddleston over the handlebars through the rear windshield of the car, injuring Duddleston and one of the six passengers inside the vehicle. Duddleston was hospitalized for treatment of his injuries until he was turned over to Lyons police on Sept. 10, 2010.

Loncola was thrown from the motorcycle and landed in the southbound lanes of First Avenue. She died later that morning at Loyola University Medical Center as a result of head injuries sustained in the crash. Neither Duddleston nor Loncola was wearing a helmet, according to police.

Duddleston had been charged with reckless homicide in addition to felony drunken driving. In a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to the DUI and driving on a suspended/revoked license. He had been free on bond until agreeing to the plea deal.


Con man sentenced

Career con man William M. O’Connor is back in state prison after pleading guilty on Oct. 7 to passing a bad check at a Riverside gift store back in 2009.

O’Connor, 48, of Chicago wrote a check for $1,265 to buy a ring at Coveny Lane, 30 E. Burlington St., on Jan. 9, 2009. In February, the store’s owner went to police after the check was returned. The checking account had been closed for two years.

Riverside police issued a warrant for O’Connor’s arrest and had been trying to track him down since.

In August, police learned that he was staying at a hotel in the 1400 block of West Diversey Parkway in Chicago, and on Aug. 20 they took him into custody without incident.

Appearing before Judge Carol Kipperman at the Maybrook courthouse, O’Connor pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years, said Weitzel.

In addition, O’Connor is believed to be involved in several other cases and still has four warrants issued for his arrest. Those cases may be handled after he serves his time for the Riverside incident or while he is imprisoned, Weitzel said.

O’Connor has a long criminal record, including more than 30 arrests and 14 previous convictions, mostly for fraudulent activity.