MORRISON – The man who drove drunk and killed a Sterling woman more than six years ago was sentenced Monday to eight years in prison.
Douglas M. Strehlow, 49, then of Milledgeville but now of Sterling, pleaded guilty Nov. 22 to aggravated driving under the influence resulting in the death of Summer D. Harmon, 40, of Sterling; a second count was dismissed.
He must serve at least 85% of his sentence, or about six years and 10 months.
Strehlow was arrested June 2, 2018, and was freed on bond Sept. 4, 2020. He was given credit for two years and 122 days served, so he will be eligible for parole in about four and a half years.
Strehlow was traveling south on Route 40 in rural Sterling, just north of Fulfs Road, about 2:40 a.m. Aug. 19, 2017. His blood-alcohol concentration was almost three times the legal limit when his pickup hit Harmon’s car almost head-on.
She died three days later.
Strehlow apologized to Harmon’s family Monday and was taken into custody after the hearing, where Judge Trish Senneff declined to grant him another continuance for medical reasons.
Strehlow was to be sentenced March 10, but he had back surgery March 1, and his sentencing was moved to June 7. He was in the hospital that day, so a status hearing was held July 28, at which his attorney, Louis F. Pignatelli of Rock Falls, asked Senneff for another continuance, citing Strehlow’s upcoming therapy appointments.
Senneff said that, without documentation from Strehlow’s doctor that a sentencing hearing would impair his health, he would be sentenced Sept. 25.
Pignatelli filed a motion Sept. 8 motion seeking a 60-day continuance, again for medical reasons. Senneff denied that motion, and sentencing proceeded Monday.