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Chillicothe Times-Bulletin - Chillicothe, IL
  • Woman causes fatal crash

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  • A Chillicothe woman faces up to 14 years in prison after being indicted Dec. 4 for allegedly being under the influence when she caused a fatal car accident.
    Jessica Watkins, 22, of 211 Third St., Apt. 8, faces two counts of aggravated driving under the influence and one count of possession of between 30 and 500 grams of marijuana.
    The two aggravated DUI counts are the most serious as they carry a three- to 14-year prison term.
    A $25,000 arrest warrant was issued Dec. 4.
    The charges allege she was under the influence of marijuana and methylone, an antidepressant.
    If convicted, she would have to serve at least 85 percent of any prison term.
    There is a chance she could get probation, but state law holds a person must show “extraordinary circumstances” why they should not go to prison.
    That is different from most crimes, as the burden is on a defendant as to why they should receive probation.
    The crash occurred on Sept. 10, on Illinois Route 116, just west of Eden Road.
    Watkins was eastbound shortly after 9 a.m. that day when she drifted into the oncoming lane of traffic and hit head-on a westbound car driven by Danny Whitcomb, 57, of Bushnell.
    His wife, 57-year-old Shannon Whitcomb, was pronounced dead at the scene.
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