Sunday, August 30, 2009

Suburban Chicago man sentenced to 6 years in prison

By Josh Stockinger [Chicago Daily Herald]

A North Aurora man was sentenced Wednesday [August 26, 2009] to six years in prison for trying to kill his wife by suffocating her with a plastic bag.

Dariusz Hrehorowicz, 38, was convicted June 24 of attempted first-degree murder and aggravated unlawful restraint in the Jan. 23, 2008, attack, which the woman survived. He had faced up to 30 years in prison.

Kane County Judge Timothy Q. Sheldon cited Hrehorowicz's lack of a prior criminal history and two daughters, who "need him in their life someday," in handing down the minimum sentence for attempted murder, a Class X felony [Class X felonies carry up to a 30 year sentence in Illinois].

"The court finds it's a tragedy when the whole family has to pay the price for this," Sheldon said.
Prosecutor David Belshan had sought a nine-year sentence for Hrehorowicz, arguing he harbors "great hatred" for the victim and still blames her for the ordeal.

"This defendant has completely lost control," Belshan said. "He blames her for taking his daughters away from him. He tried once to make her pay for that, and it almost cost her her life."

The case centered on accusations Hrehorowicz tried to kill his wife after she began legal proceedings to end their 14-year marriage last year.

The pending divorce filled Hrehorowicz with a "seething, jealous anger that kept escalating" until the day he lured her into a closet at their home on the 600 block of Graham Road and pulled a plastic bag tightly over her head, prosecutors said. The incident was reported after the woman fought off Hrehorowicz and ran to a neighbor's house.

At Wednesday's sentencing hearing, Hrehorowicz expressed remorse in a brief statement to the judge, but he did not go as far as to admit he tried to kill his wife. "I feel remorse," he said. "I feel my wife could have been a little frightened because I argued with her and I'm very sorry about that. I'm very sorry about everything."

Hrehorowicz was credited for 580 days of time served awaiting trial. He must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence, meaning he could be released in about three and a half years.

In addition, Hrehorowicz, who does not speak fluent English, was ordered to pay the cost of having a Polish translator present for his trial, which previously ended in two mistrials - once because a jury was deadlocked, and once because the victim fainted in the courtroom while jurors were present.

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