Man sentenced to prison for various traffic offenses


Online Staff Report

Judge Francis Martinez, Friday, April 25, sentenced 33-year-old Karl Cooks to five years in prison for aggravated fleeing to elude, reckless driving, obstructing identification and driving after revoked, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato announced today.

Cooks was found guilty of the offenses after a jury trial in February 2014.

Cooks was pulled over by Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police in May 2013. He gave officers a fictitious name and date of birth before fleeing from the traffic stop at a high rate of speed, running several stop signs in Machesney Park.

Another deputy also saw Cooks driving erratically and swerving in and out of traffic before the defendant was pulled over again and arrested.

Aggravated fleeing to elude is a Class 3 felony, punishable by two and 10 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Martinez handed down a five-year sentence and Cooks will be in mandatory supervised release for one year once he’s released from prison.

Obstructing identification is a Class A misdemeanor with a sentencing range of up to one year in jail. Martinez sentenced Cooks to 360 days in the Winnebago County Jail on that charge and 180 days for misdemeanor reckless driving.

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