Crime

Red Bud woman avoids reckless homicide trial, pleads guilty

Friends Abagail Liefer of Ruma, left, and Hannah Marie Porter, of Red Bud, were killed on Jan. 10, 2015, in a car crash.
Friends Abagail Liefer of Ruma, left, and Hannah Marie Porter, of Red Bud, were killed on Jan. 10, 2015, in a car crash.

A Red Bud woman charged with reckless homicide after she killed two young women while driving drunk pleaded guilty as her trial was set to begin.

Crystal Steinheimer, 21, will be sentenced July 14, according to court records. She changed her plea Friday after originally pleading not guilty.

Steinheimer was headed north on Illinois 159 near Sunset Lane on Jan. 10, 2015, when she lost control of her 2008 Chevrolet Aveo and struck a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt head on.

The driver of the Cobalt, 19-year-old Abagail Liefer of Ruma and her passenger, 20-year-old Hannah Marie Porter, of Red Bud, were killed.

Grace E. Richards, 21, of Red Bud, was also a passenger in Liefer’s car. Both she and Steinheimer were seriously injured in the crash and were airlifted to St. Louis area hospitals.

According to police reports, Steinheimer’s blood alcohol level was .179, more than twice the legal limit of .08. She was also below the legal drinking age of 21.

Eight days after the crash, Steinheimer’s license was suspended. She was free on $25,000 bail when she was caught violating the terms of her bond by driving. A Red Bud officer pulled her over just after midnight in July after receiving reports of a car being driven erratically. Steinheimer’s bail was doubled to $50,000.

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