Thomson woman found not guilty in death of pedestrian on Christmas Day

court gavel

MORRISON – A Thomson woman was found not guilty of failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident at a bench trial Wednesday in a case in which she struck and killed a pedestrian Dec. 25 near Fulton.

Tina L. Craigmiles, 52, could have been fined up to $1,000 if found guilty.

Her attorney, James Mertes of Sterling, asked Whiteside County Court Judge Stanley Steines for a directed verdict, in which a judge determines there is not enough evidence to conclude guilt, as Steines did.

That night, Craigmiles told sheriff’s deputies that she was headed north on state Route 84 at Covell Road about 6 p.m. when she looked down to set her SUV’s cruise control.

When she looked up, she struck Renee G. Peralta, 48, of North Las Vegas, Nevada, who was standing in the dark in the northbound lane.

Peralta was traveling through the area, Whiteside County Sheriff John Booker has said.

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Kathleen Schultz

Kathleen A. Schultz

Kathleen Schultz is a Sterling native with 40 years of reporting and editing experience in Arizona, California, Montana and Illinois.