Trial for man charged in fatal Memorial Day crash set for January; public defender files motion of affirmative defense

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Breeden Wike | Photo courtesy of Adams County Jail

QUINCY — The trial for a Quincy man charged in a fatal Memorial Day crash in Quincy was placed on the jury docket for Jan. 9.

Wike, 21, appeared in Adams County Circuit Court Tuesday morning before Judge Amy Lannerd. He is represented by Chief Public Defender Todd Nelson. 

Wike faces charges of reckless homicide, aggravated reckless driving, disobeying a traffic light, leaving the scene of an accident, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, disregarding a stop sign and failure to reduce speed following a May 30 crash at 12th and Locust that resulted in the death of a Quincy woman. 

He pleaded not guilty on July 19.

During a motion hearing Aug. 19, Nelson asked for money to pay for an expert witness. Judge Amy Lannerd approved up to $2,500.

Nelson said Tuesday he received a report last week from Dr. Joshua Camins, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. That report was then turned over to the Adams County state’s attorney’s office.

Nelson filed a motion of affirmative defense on Oct. 27. In an affirmative defense, the defendant introduces evidence which, if found to be credible, will negate criminal liability, even if it is proven that the defendant committed the alleged acts. The party raising the affirmative defense has the burden of proof on establishing that it applies.

Assistant state’s attorney Josh Jones told Lannerd he intends to file a motion to strike the affirmative defense. 

“We just got (affirmative defense) motion and the report from their expert. We’ve had it for less than a week,” he said. “That’s why we haven’t filed a motion. We’ve done some research, and we plan on filing a motion to strike the affirmative defense based on the case law.”

Lannerd set a jury status date for Dec. 13 and a status hearing for Nov. 9.

According to Quincy Police, Wike was driving his truck west on Locust at a high rate of speed before 9:30 a.m. Memorial Day, ran a red light at the 12th and Locust intersection and hit an SUV driven by Kayla Smith, 39, of Quincy, who was pronounced dead at Blessing Hospital later that day. 

Reckless homicide is a Class 3 felony, punishable for between two and five years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. Aggravated reckless driving is a Class 4 felony, punishable for between one and three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Wike remains in the Adams County Jail on $250,000 bond.

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