YORKVILLE – Memories of the tragic hit-and-run death of an Oswego High School softball coach were relived in a Kendall County courtroom on Oct. 5.
Nehemiah Williams, now serving a 12-year prison term in connection with the 2018 death of Amanda Stanton of Lockport, was seeking to receive credit for time that he was in home confinement prior to his trial.
Kendall County Chief Judge Robert Pilmer denied Williams’ bid to effectively shorten the prison sentence that he had imposed on June 29, 2020.
Williams, appearing virtually from the medium-security Sheridan Correctional Center, expressed remorse for causing Stanton’s death.
“I regret everything that occurred,” Williams said. “She’s not coming back no more.”
Williams was driving on Plainfield Road near Plainsman Court in rural Oswego Township on June 24, 2018 when his vehicle hit Stanton, who was walking along the side of the road.
The woman’s body was found at the base of a tree several feet from the side of the road the following afternoon by a groundskeeper.
Stanton, who was 26 years old, was determined to have been killed instantly. She was the head softball coach at OHS and a math intervention specialist at Jefferson Junior High School in Naperville.
Pilmer sentenced Williams to nine years in prison for failure to report the crash related to Stanton’s death and three years on a reckless homicide charge, to be served concurrently.
However, Pilmer also sentenced Williams to three years for driving on a suspended license and made that term consecutive with the conviction for failure to report the crash, bringing the total to 12 years.
The judge credited Williams with the 268 days that he had already served in jail.
Williams, of Aurora, was arrested on charges related to the hit and run incident on June 27, 2018, with bond set at $1 million. Later, Pilmer reduced the bond to $150,000 and Williams was released from the Kendall County jail in Yorkville Oct. 5, 2018. However, Williams was required to wear a GPS tracking device and to remain at home.
Kendall County First Assistant State’s Attorney Mark Shlifka, who had prosecuted the original case, argued that under a 1990 Illinois Supreme Court ruling, there is no requirement for a judge to grant credit for time that a defendant remains under home confinement.
Pilmer listened carefully as Williams made his case, which was more a plea for mercy than an argument based in law.
“It’s been a long three-and-a-half years,” Williams said. “I want some way to show the court and society that I am a better person. I respected everybody there. I lost it all,” he said.
Williams continued: “I respect that you respected me. I’m a human being and I’ve done everything you guys have asked me to do, no problem.”
Shlifka had entered a motion asking the judge to dismiss Williams’ petition, which Pilmer granted.
“With respect to the state’s motion to dismiss, this court does not have a duty to give credit,” Pilmer said. “I am granting the state’s motion to dismiss your petition,” the judge said to Williams.