COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A man accused of drunk driving in a Lake Shore Drive crash that sent an elderly South Side woman to the hospital in a coma on Easter Sunday walked out of the Cook County Courthouse Wednesday after the charges against him had been upgraded to aggravated DUI death.
Mareo Nutall, 32, was driving on a suspended license after a January DUI charge when he allegedly careened into the rear of a broken-down minivan on the side of the road in the 4500 block of South Lake Shore Drive.
Verlinda Perry-Hill, 52, the woman inside the minivan, suffered a traumatic brain injury and died three days later.
Nutall, of the 3500 block of West Arthington Street, repeatedly denied drinking the night of the accident but ultimately admitted to “drinking three beers," according to court records.
Originally brought up on charges of aggravated DUI, causing an accident or bodily harm, driving on a suspended or revoked license, and failure to reduce speed, Nutall was ordered held on $150,000 bail last week.
When he appeared in court Wednesday following Perry-Hill's death to face the upgraded charge, prosecutors asked a judge to increase his bail.
Cook County Judge Donald Panarese Jr. however opted not to increase the bail, and Nutall walked out of the courtroom with a look of relief on his face.