More than three years after a Rockford woman dies in a car crash caused after robbers flee from police, a wrongful death case begins.
This is the case for Karen Williams. In August of 2014 Williams was driving near the CherryVale Mall to deliver a year book to a Jefferson High School Student. The car she was in was struck when three men, on the run from police, slammed into her on Perryville Road. Williams died a week later.
Devonte Locke, the man driving the car, was convicted of second degree murder. This lawsuit is filed against the three convicted men in the robbery, as well as the Boone County Sheriff's Office. It alleges Locke, Ronaldo Fort, Deangelo Brooks, as well as Boone County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Rosenkranz acted recklessly in the chase.
Today Deputy Rosenkranz took the stand to defend his actions in chasing the suspects across Boone County lines into Winnebago County. Lawyers fro Williams' estate questioned his familiarity with another county, and whether he considered the chase safe and justified. They also asked if he knew he wouldn't be disciplined for chasing the suspects, he said he did know that, but that's not why he continued his pursuit.
Lawyers representing Rosenkranz went through the sheriff office's chase protocol with the deputy and reviewed the dash cam with him. The deputy pointed to the light amount of traffic, the clear weather for reasons the chase was justified along with the risk he felt the suspects and their car posed to the community if he did not stop them.
The trial will pick back up Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.