WOODSTOCK – A Wisconsin woman faces up to 26 years in prison after she admitted to being under the influence of heroin during a 2016 McHenry crash that seriously injured a motorcyclist and killed the passenger.
Sheree Ann Shaw, 46, entered a blind guilty plea Friday to two counts of aggravated driving under the influence, a Class 2 and Class 4 felony, respectively. She faces between three and 14 years in prison on the Class 2 felony and one to 12 years on the Class 4 felony. If she is sentenced to prison on both charges they must be served consecutively and at 85 percent, according to state law.
There is no agreement between Shaw’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Angelo Mourelatos and Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Combs. She will be sentenced by McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather on June 29.
Prosecutors said Shaw was driving a 2002 Ford Taurus near the 2500 block of Richmond Road on May 6 when she attempted to change lanes several times, crossed into a no-passing zone and struck a 2007 Harley-Davidson Road Glide. The motorcycle was driven by Mike Thornton, 40, with passenger Amy Thornton, his wife of nearly 19 years.
The two were on an excursion discussing college plans for their son who was about to graduate from Woodstock North High School. The Woodstock couple had two sons, Zach and Michael, and Amy Thornton, 42, worked as a nurse for 20 years.
She died nine days after the crash at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville. Mike Thornton, 39, suffered a shattered left shoulder and left pelvis and has since had six surgeries.
Mike Thornton outside of court Friday said he thought it was “awesome” that Shaw pleaded guilty because the case will soon be resolved.
He said he is looking to return to work at Black Diamond Plumbing & Mechanical in the near future, but has no plans to get back on a motorcycle.
“I don’t want to put my life in anyone else’s hands again,” he said.
Shaw was first taken into custody after the crash and charged with driving without a valid driver’s license but posted bond shortly thereafter and returned to Wisconsin. She was then arrested in Walworth County on upgraded charges but was again released on a $2,500 recognizance bond.
Shaw failed to appear in McHenry County court June 7 and Prather issued a warrant for her arrest. She was extradited from Las Vegas after missing court appearances in Wisconsin and Illinois.
Authorities have said Shaw was visiting family in Las Vegas when she was arrested.