from the Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit, LaSalle
County, Illinois, Circuit No. 13-CF-372 Honorable H. Chris
Ryan, Judge, Presiding.
JUSTICE HOLDRIDGE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices McDade and O'Brien concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 After a stipulated bench trial, the defendant, Brandon
Mumaugh (Mumaugh), was convicted of aggravated driving under
the influence of a drug (aggravated DUI) in violation of
sections 11-501(a)(6) and 11-501(d)(1)(C) of the Illinois
Vehicle Code (Code) (625 ILCS 5/11-501(a)(6), (d)(1)(C) (West
2012)) and sentenced to two years' imprisonment. The
defendant appeals his conviction.
3 The trial court conducted a bench trial on October 17,
2014. The parties presented all evidence by stipulation. The
following facts are taken from the parties' stipulated
4 Mumaugh was 43 years old at the time of trial. He lived in
Marseilles, and had been a professional truck driver for 27
years. On June 21, 2012, at approximately 10:30 p.m., Mumaugh
left work in Ottawa and began driving his GMC Blazer east on
I-80 toward Marseilles. He exited the Interstate at the
Marseilles exit and proceeded south on Highway 15 toward the
Marseilles city limits. It was a very dark night with no
5 At the same time Mumaugh was driving home that night,
12-year-old Jennifer Dennis (Jennifer) and her friend,
13-year-old Courtney Brown (Courtney), were walking on the
east side of Highway 15, at the edge of the northbound lane.
Jennifer and Courtney had sneaked out of Courtney's house
to go the Dollar Store for soda. Finding the store closed,
they continued north on Highway 15 in Marseilles toward a gas
station, which was also closed. The girls then walked south
along Highway 15 on their way back to Courtney's house.
6 At 10:34 p.m., Maggie Thomas, a 911 dispatcher, received a
call from Milan Najdanovich. Najdanovich told Thomas,
"I'm on my way into town, and you got two little
girls, they've got to be 12 or 14 years old, walking on
Marseilles blacktop walking in between Hicks Gas and the
Shell station." Najdanovich said that "they've
got no reflectors on, no nuttin' Honey, they're
goin' to get hit." He added, "[t]hey're
wearing dark clothes. I'm really afraid somebody's
gonna hit 'em or something.'" Within 58 seconds
of Najdanovich's 911 call, a squad car was dispatched to
7 As Courtney and Jennifer walked, Courtney's flip flop
broke, and she bent down to fix it. Mumaugh was driving south
on highway 15 at 50 miles per hour when he saw the white legs
of a young girl (Courtney), in the northbound lane. Courtney
was about 75 feet away. Within a split second, another young
girl, Jennifer, appeared out of nowhere in the southbound
lane, immediately in front of Mumaugh's vehicle. Jennifer
was wearing black clothes and had her back to Mumaugh.
Mumaugh immediately swerved his vehicle to the right to avoid
striking Jennifer, but Jennifer was right in front of his
vehicle. The left side of his vehicle struck Jennifer.
Courtney heard a crash as she was bending over. Mumaugh's
vehicle veered off into a ditch on the west side of the
highway. Mumaugh immediately exited his vehicle to give aid
to Jennifer. He encountered Courtney, who said to
him, I kept telling her to get out of the road. I kept
telling her she shouldn't walk on the road." Mumaugh
and Courtney found Jennifer lying face down on the east side
of the highway. Her breathing was very labored. Courtney
called 911. The 911 dispatcher received the call about eight
minutes after the Marseilles squad car was dispatched.
8 Highway 15 is a paved, two-lane road. At the time of the
accident, the posted speed limit was 55 m.p.h. At the
location of the accident, there were no lights illuminating
the highway. The area is rural, and the highway is surrounded
by open fields and bordered by gravel shoulders.
9 At the time of the accident, Mark Judd was driving north on
Highway 15 north of Marseilles when a Marseilles police squad
car passed him with its emergency lights activated. The squad
car stopped approximately one mile ahead. The officer exited
his vehicle and directed Judd to stop. Judd pulled over and
exited his vehicle. The officer, Brian Faber, saw Mumaugh
standing over Jennifer, with Courtney standing nearby.
Mumaugh told Officer Faber that Jennifer was walking down the
middle of the road, that Mumaugh did not see her, and that he
hit her with his car. Judd, a former EMT, walked to where
Jennifer was lying to see if there was anything he could do
to help her. Judd asked Officer Faber to help him assist
Jennifer. Officer Faber did not respond. Judd asked Mumaugh
to help him turn Jennifer over to make sure she was
breathing. Mumaugh assisted Judd.
10 Detective Todd Gordon and Officers Ronald Baudino and
Thomas Rogel of the Marseilles Police department subsequently
arrived on the scene. A Marseilles ambulance also arrived,
rendered aid, and took Jennifer to an area where she could be
airlifted to a hospital. Judd then spoke to Courtney, who was
sitting in Judd's vehicle. Judd asked her what happened.
Courtney told Judd that Jennifer was walking in the middle of
the road, kicking a rock. Courtney also told others at the
scene that Jennifer was walking in the middle of the road and
provided a written statement to that effect.
11 Officer Baudino asked Mumaugh if he had been drinking.
Mumaugh responded that he had not and offered to take field
sobriety tests. After administering field sobriety tests,
Officer Baudino told Mumaugh that he was "good" and
that he saw no signs of impairment. Mumaugh agreed to be
taken by ambulance to OSF Hospital to give blood and urine
12 Detective Gordon and Officers Faber and Baudino did not
detect any odor of cannabis on Mumaugh's breath or
clothing. At no time did they observe anything that would
lead them to believe that Mumaugh was under the influence of
drugs. Mumaugh did not show any signs of impairment in his
actions or senses. Mumaugh told the officers that he had
"smoked weed" five days earlier (on June 16, 2012),
but had not smoked any marijuana on the day of the accident.
13 While at the accident scene, Mumaugh realized that he had
a "hitter" pipe in his vehicle and he knew that the
police would probably search the vehicle. To avoid being
arrested for possession of the pipe, Mumaugh removed the pipe
from the vehicle and discarded it on the side of the road.
Mumaugh claimed he did not use the pipe to smoke cannabis at
any time that day. He did not have any cannabis on his person
or in his vehicle. Officer Rogel saw the hitter pipe (a type
of pipe commonly used to smoke cannabis) on the ground next
to the ambulance that took Mumaugh to the hospital. The pipe
was not warm to the touch, and there was nothing Officer
Rogel observed that would lead him to believe that the pipe
had been ...