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Reckless Homicide Charge Has Been Reinstated in the Bobby Cann Case

A memorial for Bobby Cann on Clybourn Avenue.
A memorial for Bobby Cann near the crash site in spring 2013. Photo: Steven Vance

There’s been some good news in the case against the driver who killed cyclist Bobby Cann while allegedly drunk and speeding. The Cook County state’s attorney’s office announced today that they won an appeal to have the reckless homicide charge against motorist Ryne San Hamel reinstated. The charge had previously been dismissed by Judge William Hooks at a hearing last July.

On the evening of May 29, 2013, Cann, 26, was biking at the intersection of Clybourn Avenue and Larabee Street when Ryne San Hamel, 28, struck and killed him. San Hamel was charged with reckless homicide and aggravated DUI, as well as misdemeanor DUI, reckless driving, and failure to stay in the lane.

At the July hearing Judge Hooks dismissed the homicide charge, agreeing with defense attorney Sam Adam Jr. that the wording of the charge in the indictment was too vague for San Hamel’s team to adequately prepare his defense. The reasoning was that the state’s attorney’s office hadn’t been specific enough about what acts by San Hamel were reckless.

The following month the state’s attorney filed an appeal of Hooks’ decision with the Illinois Appellate Court, contending that that level of specificity wasn’t required by law. “The appeals court sided with the state, which means the reckless homicide charge will be rolled back in and [the court] will address that moving forward,” explained Active Transportation Alliance crash victim advocate Jason Jenkins.

The next hearing in the case will take place on Thursday, May 5. “That one will be to hear testimony from the judge who signed the search warrant [to test San Hamel’s blood alcohol content level], and possibly some of the police officers who were involved in relation to a motion by the defense to dismiss the warrant due to some irregularities with the way it was filled out,” Jenkins said. “So they’re going to get the judge on the stand to testify and straighten that out.”

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