Defense questions legality of charges in Rousso case
By Jim Newton firstname.lastname@example.org August 29, 2013 3:44PM
Updated: October 1, 2013 6:33AM
Defense attorneys for Carly Rousso, the Highland Park teen charged with the death of a young girl last year while allegedly driving under the influence of inhalants, may file a motion challenging the constitutionality of the statute under which she was charged.
Rousso, 19, is charged with aggravated DUI and reckless homicide stemming from a Labor Day 2012 incident on Central Avenue in downtown Highland Park, where she is alleged to have run over 5-year-old Jaclyn Santos of Highwood after inhaling or “huffing” a chemical agent.
She has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has been free on bail after her family posted a $500,000 bond.
According to Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Ori, Rousso’s defense has indicated intent to file a motion attacking the constitutionality of the statute under which she was charged.
Ori said if the motion is filed, a hearing for the state’s response would be held Sept. 18. He said he cannot comment further until he has a chance to see the pending motion.
Attempts to reach defense attorney Douglas Zeit for comment were unsuccessful.
Rousso’s trial is scheduled to start Sept. 27, but prosecutors had suggested that a plea agreement is also possible before then.
A settlement has already been reached in a civil case against Rousso. The family of Jaclyn Santos filed a suit seeking damages in excess of $50,000. The settlement agreement was sealed.
Jaclyn was walking with her mother and two siblings on a downtown Highland Park sidewalk when she was run over by a car driven by Rousso, who was allegedly driving under the influence of difluoreothane, a cleaning agent, according to the lawsuit.
The suit alleged that Rousso drove over Jaclyn as her mother and siblings watched.
If convicted of the criminal charges, Rousso could spend up to 14 years in prison.
In mid-July, Rousso voluntarily checked into a treatment center due to mental trauma from the fatal accident.