News - Joliet and Will County

Beecher man charged with deadly crash freed on reduced bond

Sean B. Woulfe

JOLIET – Only hours after a Will County judge agreed to drastically reduce his $1 million bond, a Beecher man charged with killing a pregnant mother and her three children in a high-speed crash was released from jail.

Sean B. Woulfe, 25, was freed before 5 p.m. Friday after posting 10 percent of a $250,000 bond.

Will County Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes allowed the bond reduction earlier Friday on the condition that Woulfe would surrender his passport and not operate a motor vehicle.

Woulfe is accused of driving 83 mph in a 55 mph zone and disobeying a stop sign, causing the deaths of Lindsey Schmidt, 29, and her three children on the morning of July 24. He was charged with reckless homicide, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

At a Friday morning court hearing, Woulfe’s attorney, George Lenard, argued for the $1 million bond – which he characterized as “excessive” and “oppressive” – to be reduced because Woulfe was not a threat to the public and he did not pose a flight risk, as he had many opportunities to leave but did not take them.

Lenard also noted that Woulfe did not have any previous misdemeanors or felonies. Lenard said Woulfe is remorseful about the crash.

Woulfe appeared again in court Friday in a wheelchair and with his eyes looking downward during the hearing.

County prosecutor Jim Long objected to the bond reduction, arguing that Woulfe’s past driving history shows he has “consciously ignored” traffic risks in the past and that the crash was violent.

A preliminary hearing for Woulfe’s case has been set for Sept. 14.

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver covers crime and courts for The Herald-News