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Homicide Charge Dropped for Alleged Drunk Driver Who Killed Cyclist

By  Paul Biasco and Erica Demarest | July 29, 2015 3:27pm 

 Ryne San Hamel (r.) is accused of fatally hitting bicyclist Bobby Cann with his Mercedes while driving under the influence.
Ryne San Hamel (r.) is accused of fatally hitting bicyclist Bobby Cann with his Mercedes while driving under the influence.
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Facebook and Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A Cook County judge has dismissed a reckless homicide charge against Ryne San Hamel, the suburban man accused of driving drunk and striking and killing cyclist Bobby Cann in 2013.

Charges of aggravated DUI causing death and aggravated DUI causing bodily harm still stand.

San Hamel was first charged in 2013 after authorities said he struck Cann on Clybourn Avenue near Larrabee in Old Town on May 29, 2013. Cann was riding his bike home from his job at Groupon.

In January of this year, San Hamel's attorney, Sam Adam Jr., filed a motion to dismiss the reckless homicide charge. Adam, who has previously defended Rod Blagojevich, argued that the charge wasn't specific enough.

Prosecutors filed a response in June. And on Friday, Cook County Judge William J. Hooks agreed to dismiss the charge.

According to Hooks' ruling, it is still possible for the State's Attorney's Office to re-indict San Hamel on the reckless-homicide charge in the future if prosecutors come back with a more specific indictment.

"This wasn't what we were hoping would happen, but it's also not a huge setback," said Kathryn Conway, an attorney representing the Cann family in a civil suit against San Hamel.

Paul Biasco outlines what happens next for this case:

The most serious charge remaining, aggravated DUI resulting in death, carries a three-to-14-year prison sentence. Conway said a judge can also sentence the offender to probation if there are "exceptional circumstances."

Conway said she and Cann's family were surprised when the homicide charge was dropped Friday.

San Hamel allegedly had a blood-alcohol level of .127 when he struck the 26-year-old, according to prosecutors.

The Park Ridge man, then 28, was out celebrating after a Cubs win when he struck Cann. He listed AllYouCanDrink.com as his place of employment at the time.

This isn't the first charge to be dismissed for San Hamel. The Chicago Reader reports that he's been arrested on alcohol-related charges twice in the past. Both were dismissed.

The next hearing in the case is set for Aug. 11 at 10 a.m. at the Cook County Courthouse.

It is not clear when the case will go to trial.

"There are definitely signs that it's progressing," Conway said.

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