DECATUR — A Lovington man is now facing penalties of up to three years in prison and fines up to $25,000 after a jury convicted him of aggravated reckless driving causing great bodily harm, a Class 4 felony.
The 12-person jury came back with its verdict against Myles McGonigle, 51, after deliberating less than two hours Tuesday morning in Macon County Circuit Court. Judge Jeffrey Geisler will sentence him Feb. 1.
On Monday, during testimony that lasted all day, witnesses described McGonigle as speeding and weaving in and out of traffic the evening of Nov. 17, 2015, when his van struck pedestrian Anthony Johnson at the intersection of U.S. 36 and East Prairie Avenue.
Johnson, 49, was left in a coma for a week and suffered major bone fractures. He told the court surgeons rebuilt his head using metal plates.
But the case against McGonigle, who was working as a cosmetology instructor the evening of the accident, didn't go smoothly for the prosecution.
McGonigle's defense attorneys, Todd Ringel and Douglas B. Johnson, made a motion for directed acquittal at one point after a police officer who worked the accident was unable to recognize the defendant. Asked to point him out in court on Monday, the officer indicated Douglas B. Johnson. The motion was denied by Geisler.
Assistant State’s Attorney Regan Radtke also had to tell the jury that doctors found traces of cocaine and cannabis in Anthony Johnson’s blood, but she said he had been sober at the time of the accident.
Defense attorneys could not be reached for comment Tuesday, but Radtke, speaking after the verdict, said the jury had reached the right conclusion.
“The jury saw through all the distractions and was able to find the right verdict, I believe,” she said. “We’re just happy that justice was served for the victim.”