Courts & Crime

Lawyers: Ill. troopers don't have to obey speed limits

BELLEVILLE -- Lawyers for the Illinois State Police trooper accused of causing a crash that killed two Collinsville sisters argued Thursday that the judge in the case must use reason and not emotion when deciding whether prosecutors can pursue reckless homicide and reckless driving charges.

John O'Gara and Jim and Julie Gomric, lawyers for Trooper Matt Mitchell, argued the charges should be dismissed because Mitchell, like other police officers in emergencies, aren't required to obey speed limit laws.

"We empower them to do things others are not allowed to do," O'Gara said, pointing out that police officers are allowed to wear a gun on their hip while driving a car -- a felony for anyone else.

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