Skip to Content
Streetsblog Chicago home
Log In

The Driver Who Killed Cyclist Bobby Cann May Plead Guilty Next Month

1:03 PM CST on December 22, 2016

Bobby Cann. Photo: Michelle Klosinski, Groupon

There’s a chance that the case against the driver who killed cyclist Bobby Cann while allegedly speeding and drunk could be resolved next month, but it remains to be seen whether justice will be served. A 402 conference, during which the defendant may accept a plea deal, is planned for the next court hearing on Thursday, January 26, at 10 a.m. in room 301 at the Cook County courthouse at 2650 South California.

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.

According to a recent post on the Ride On Bobby Facebook page, maintained by Cann’s family, last week San Hamel’s lawyer Sam Adam Jr. notified assistant the state’s attorney that he plans to request the 402 conference. During this meeting, the defense, the prosecution, and Judge William Hooks would meet, either privately or in open court, to review the case, and Hooks would let the defense know what the likely sentence would be if he was to plead guilty.

If San Hamel agrees to plead guilty, the case would be resolved, and it would not go to trial. However, the defense has indicated that they will only accept a sentence of probation.

According to police, San Hamel was driving in excess of 50 mph and had a blood-alcohol content of 0.15, well above the legal limit of 0.08. Moreover, the defendant has a history of driving under the influence. It would be unjust for San Hamel to serve no jail time for taking Cann's life, and it seems unlikely that probation alone would be an effective deterrent to prevent him from driving drunk in the future, and possibly causing another tragedy.

Ride on Bobby provided the following info about preparations for the 402 conference:

The Cook County pre-trial team will put together a report on the defendant’s past, including criminal and non-criminal events that will give a bigger picture of who he is and any mitigating or aggravating factors in his past. The other component of the 402 is the ADES (Alcohol and Drug Evaluation Services) evaluation, which will investigate drug and alcohol histories specifically as well as evaluate the degree of his problem with them. This evaluation will help determine what degree of rehabilitation, if any, is included in the sentence.

The state’s attorney’s office declined to comment on the upcoming hearing.

Cann family attorney Kate Conway said yesterday that the family is relieved that there has finally been some progress in the case, which has dragged on for three years. “They’re hopeful the 402 conference will lead to a resolution of the case,” Conway said.

According to Ride On Bobby, family and friends of Cann will have an opportunity to submit victim impact statements to Hooks before the 402 conference, and a few of the statements may be read in court. “This is the only opportunity the judge will have to learn about Bobby Cann,” the post stated.

Members of the local bike community are encouraged to show up for the January 26 hearing. “It will be very helpful if there are supporters for Bobby in the courtroom,” the post stated.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Chicago

Taste of 79th Community Walk uses a stroll with a New Orleans-style brass band to highlight the corridor

Saturday's event was a reminder that there's no better way to get to know a neighborhood than taking a walk with others, enjoying live music, and supporting local businesses.

September 20, 2023

Check it out: Now it’s safer to get on and off the 312 RiverRun from Belmont Avenue

One of the coolest new things on the on-street route is the treatment of Belmont near and over the Chicago River, by the southern trailhead of the north-south path.

September 19, 2023

Who’s to blame for the killing of a man on the sidewalk after two drivers crashed in West Ridge?

The police statement and crash report provide different accounts of which driver should have yielded, but a 6-lane street layout may have also played a role in the tragedy.

September 19, 2023
See all posts