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17-year-old driver charged as adult in crash that killed 87-year-old Decatur woman in her home

17-year-old driver charged as adult in crash that killed 87-year-old Decatur woman in her home


DECATUR — The 17-year-old male driver in a fatal Decatur crash, accused of driving under the influence before plowing into a house and sparking a fire that killed an 87-year-old woman, will be charged as an adult.

Micaiah Gene Barton appeared in Macon County Circuit Court on Monday to be told he is facing two charges of aggravated DUI causing death. A judge approved the appointment of a public defender for the case. 

A preliminary hearing is now scheduled for Dec. 18 when a judge will decide whether there is enough evidence to proceed with the case as charged.

Bond was fixed at $100,000 and Barton remains in custody at the Peoria County Juvenile Center. He can’t be held at the Macon County Jail because juveniles are not allowed to be kept with adult prisoners. His mug shot is not available for the same reason. 

Decatur Police reports said the crash happened around 11 p.m. Nov. 22 when Barton’s sport utility vehicle smashed into Mary D. Hinton’s house in the 2300 block of East Locust Street. The impact severed a gas line which fed a fierce fire that broke out in the wake of the crash. Macon County Chief Deputy Coroner Dee Coventry said Hinton, pronounced dead at 1:54 a.m. Nov. 23 after her body was found in the blackened remains of her home, died from smoke and soot inhalation.

Macon County State’s Attorney Jay Scott said Tuesday he could not comment about why Barton was being charged as an adult, but said his office had discretion under the law to prosecute juveniles charged with traffic offenses in adult court.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid


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