Crime & Courts

Man pleads guilty to DUI crash

Judge sentences Plainfield man to four years in prison

Sign for Will County Courthouse, 100 W. Jefferson St., Joliet.

A Plainfield man pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in connection with a car crash on Interstate 55 that preceded a wreck that killed an off-duty Berwyn police officer.

On Monday, Judge Dave Carlson sentenced Rodrigo Marin, 43, to four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI, which is his fourth DUI violation.

Marin will have to complete at least half his sentence and will be deported after his serving his time in prison, according to Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Tom Slazyk. Marin is a Mexican citizen who is in the U.S. illegally, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official said.

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped three other charges of aggravated DUI, one charge of aggravated driving while license revoked and a charge of leaving the scene of a property damage accident.

Marin crashed into a box truck on Jan. 19, 2020. Shortly after that accident, Joliet Police Officer Erin Zilka, 37, crashed into the same box and Berwyn police officer Charles Schauer, 33, a passenger in Zilka’s car, was killed in the wreck, Illinois State Police said.

Zilka was charged with misdemeanor DUI and released on her own recognizance following her arrest. It wasn’t until Dec. 9 when Zilka was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and Lorazepam.

The criminal complaint alleged Zilka’s DUI violation was a “proximate cause” of Schauer’s death.

Marin drove a Nissan Titan pickup truck on I-55 in Plainfield at the time of the crash and he was seen walking away from the scene, Slazyk said. A state trooper met with Marin and noticed he had red, glassy eyes, a strong alcoholic odor on his breath and no valid driver’s license, Slazyk said.

Marin failed a field sobriety test, admitted to drinking four beers and a breath test revealed his blood-alcohol concentration was above the legal limit, Slazyk said.

Zilka’s attorney, Jeff Tomczak, told Carlson on Monday that he wished to subpoena Marin for Zilka’s case or have a material witness bond placed on him as he’s a “significant witness” in her case.

Special prosecutor Bill Elward said Marin is not a material witness but he recommended an evidence deposition for Marin to avoid any potential appellate issues.

Rodrigo Marin