Plea agreement reached in wreck that killed Rock Island woman
A Davenport man will serve just over seven years in prison after plowing into a crowd of people last fall and killed a Rock Island woman.
Jeremy Graves, 26, plead guilty to a lesser charge of second-degree murder Friday in Rock Island County court. In exchange, a previous first-degree murder charge was dropped.
In court, Graves told Judge Walter Braud that “I wasn’t trying to kill nobody. I was trying to save my own life.”
Sondra Tate, 43, was run over and killed in the September 19, 2012 incident, but not before pushing two children out of harm’s way.
“I can never see my sister again. She’ll never walk the face of the earth and in seven years, he’ll be out,” said Gwen Robinson, Tate’s sister, after sentencing. “She was pregnant. They never mentioned that. She’s dead and they slap him on the wrist. That’s crazy to me. I just don’t get it.”
Prosecutors say autopsy reports showed Tate was not actually pregnant.
Defense attorney Herb Schultz told the judge that Graves had been beaten up pretty badly by some in the crowd prior to the incident, and was in a provoked state of mind at the time.
“Today’s a big loss for both the victim and my client and it just shows what can happen when tempers flare,” Schultz said.
As part of the plea deal, Graves was sentenced to 15 years, but under Illinois law with day-for-day credit, he will serve about seven and a half years.