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DUI Suspect: Officer Told Me to Drive

DUI Suspect: Officer Told Me to Drive

Chicago Sun-Times via YellowBrix

February 19, 2011

CHICAGO – An admittedly drunk driver took the witness stand in his own defense Friday, testifying how a Chicago Heights police officer ordered him behind the wheel before he crashed his girlfriend’s car, killing the 5-year-old boy he called his own.

Cecil Conner Jr., who faces two counts of aggravated driving under the influence, said officer Chris Felicetti gave him the mandate after his girlfriend and Michael Langford Jr.’s mother, Kathie LaFond, was arrested for driving on a suspended license.

In the early morning hours of May 10, LaFond, a designated driver, picked Conner up from a cousin’s house where Conner said he had been drinking Bud Lights while watching the NBA playoffs. LaFond’s son was sleeping in the back of the Chevrolet Cavalier minutes before the May 10 crash.

“I opened the passenger door. (Felicetti) put the keys in my hand. He told me to take Michael home and come back for Kathie,” Conner told Will County jurors, his blue striped suit jacket and collared shirt hiding the larger of his neck tattoos. “Then he ordered me to drive. He told me if I didn’t drive, I’d be arrested.”

The Steger man recalled thinking that night, “Everything’s blurry. I can’t really see. I’m scared”

Then Conner called the house he’d partied at to ask for help. He talked to Jennifer Tartt, his cousin’s fiancée, but the line went dead before he could figure out where he was.

The next thing he remembered was waking up. The Cavalier had slammed into one tree, richocheted into a cyclone fence and uprooted a pine tree.

“I was reaching in the back seat, screaming for help,” Conner said.

Assistant State’s Attorney Deborah Mills pounced on Conner during cross examination.

Why did he tell Steger police to “go get the bastard that did this?”

Why did he tell police some guy had cut him off? Where did he see the semi-truck he said caused him to swerve into the other lane?

“I don’t remember,” Conner repeated to her.

How did Conner manage to call his friend but not just pull over?

“You had a phone, correct?” she asked, raising her voice. “You had a brake pedal too?”

And did he ever go back to the Chicago Heights Police Station?

“I was supposed to go back there after I dropped Michael off,” Conner said. “I didn’t make it.”

Prosecutors’ brief rebuttal included testimony from a security supervisor at St. James Hospital in Chicago Heights who refuted LaFond’s insistence she told Felicetti three times Conner was drunk and she was his ride home.

Kevin Kutta said he overheard LaFond talking to Michael’s godmother in the waiting room at the ER where Michael was pronounced dead.

“Look, I need to tell you something,” he said LaFond told the other woman when they were alone. “I was picked up by police and arrested. I told the officer, ‘Please, let Cecil drive my baby home. That’s how he got the keys, That’s how he got the car, that’s how he got the baby.’”

Kutta said he volunteered his story to police after seeing LaFond on the TV news insisting the opposite.

Closing arguments in the trial are expected Tuesday.

  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    over 3 years ago


    What a lowlife, I hope the court sees through this pathetic excuss for why he was driving drunk.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    Actually, I agree with Lt_Stover.

    Veryy sorry the litttle one lost. Rest In Peace Michael.

  • Img_20111016_163737_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Sounds like some ploy just to get off the hook. Throw the book at him Judge!

  • Angel_kincaid_park_2014_max50


    over 3 years ago


    WOW! Really! Blame the Police because you chose to Drink and Drive, What a POS!!!!
    Sorry the Lil Man lost his Life due to negligent parents.... RIP LIL Michael

  • Police-997-1-08-06_max50


    over 3 years ago


    I think I'm even more confused after reading this story!

  • Nunst0006_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Gee, hiding his neck tats and he was afraid of the police,

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    even if the officer did hand him the keys, that idiot knew better than to drink and drive, quit laying the blame on the officer when your the idiot that screwed up.

  • Mandy_and_me_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Can you say PERJURY

  • Ba_old_glory_max50


    over 3 years ago


    AFS strikes again....

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    BS! Did the OFFICER tell you and your girl to drink and drive!

  • Jpd_new_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Where the 1st stop was and where the crash occurred had some distance between them. What a crock. These turds are trying to make taxpayers liable for their own stupid actions.

  • Images_7a8ec2bec1e1bf7f38b54b52a8c9c453_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Stupid Story + drunk + driving = Guilty DWI .

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago

    its always our fault for some reason. no one takes responsibility anymore

  • Don_27t_20tred_20on_20me_max50


    over 3 years ago


    When all else fails, blame someone else!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    I can't think of a word to say.....................

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