JEFFERSON COUNTY — A 26-year-old Energy man was sentenced Thursday in Jefferson County court to 14 years in prison for a 2017 DUI-related crash that claimed the life of 18-year-old Emma Caserotti, of Mt. Vernon.
According to Jefferson County State’s Attorney Sean Featherstun, Cole Stevens was sentenced to the maximum term of 14 years on a Class 2 felony charge of aggravated driving under the influence of drugs causing Caserotti’s death.
That sentence will be served concurrently with a maximum 12-year sentence on a Class 4 felony charge of aggravated DUI resulting in an accident that caused bodily harm to Caserotti’s friend and passenger Tristen Sharp.
In April, Stevens filed an open plea of guilty to three of the nine DUI charges against him. He also pleaded guilty to a lesser and included charge of misdemeanor driving under the influence of drugs.
Stevens was arrested last June after he crossed Interstate 57 near Ina and struck Caserotti’s Jeep head-on, killing her and seriously injuring Sharp.
Featherstun had earlier explained that the Class 2 felony Stevens pleaded guilty to is the harshest charge available for such a case, as a reckless homicide conviction would only have a maximum sentencing range of 2 to 5 years, with day for day credit. Stevens will have to serve 85 percent of the Class 2 sentence.
An open plea does not come with an agreed upon sentence. Judge Jerry Crisel handed down the sentence Thursday based upon a pre-sentence investigation, along with aggravating and mitigating statements given to the court.