Chicago man sentenced to 31 years for intentionally crashing SUV into stranger’s van, killing a man – Chicago Tribune newstrendslive

A Chicago man was sentenced to 31 years in prison for intentionally crashing his SUV into a stranger’s van at high speed in McHenry County, killing one man and severely injuring another, prosecutors said.

William Bishop, 44, was found guilty but mentally ill on a murder charge. He also was found guilty of aggravated battery and aggravated driving under the influence of marijuana, prosecutors said. After a weeklong trial, Judge Michael Coppedge rejected the insanity defense and convicted Bishop.

Witnesses testified that on May 18, 2020, Jason Miller, 41, and Rory Fiali, 56, both of McHenry, had just finished a job in Harvard and were driving east on Vanderkarr Road near Hebron, according to a news release by prosecutors.

Bishop was driving a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee westbound on Vanderkarr when he accelerated to 87 mph, crossed the center line and intentionally crashed into a 2003 Chevrolet cargo van carrying Miller and Fiali, despite Fiali’s attempts to avoid the crash, prosecutors said. Emergency personnel had to extract the victims from the rolled over van.

Miller died at the scene. Fiali was critically injured and is still in inpatient rehabilitation due to his debilitating injuries. Bishop sustained minor injuries.

After the crash, investigators said, Bishop told investigators that he deliberately targeted the van for a head-on collision, though he didn’t know the men inside.

Testing showed Bishop had more than twice the legal limit of THC, the component of marijuana that gets users high, in his blood, prosecutors said, adding that a cannabis vaping device that contained THC was found in the open compartment area of Bishop’s SUV along with other marijuana paraphernalia.

Bishop said he had smoked pot that day and left his apartment in downtown Chicago feeling paranoid and hearing voices, according to police testimony and recordings. Defense attorneys argued that he had been having a manic psychotic episode and thought he was getting messages from the radio telling him to kill himself.

Coppedge sentenced Bishop to 24 years for murder, plus 7 years for aggravated driving under the influence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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