A Kenosha man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for fatally striking a 19-year-old bicyclist so hard with his car that he flew out of his shoes and socks in 2017 in Zion.
Dennis C. Russell Jr., 35, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, was charged with failure to report an accident involving death and failure to report an accident involving personal injury.
Russell was found guilty during a jury trial in June and sentenced on Wednesday by Lake County Circuit Judge George Strickland. In addition to the 15 year prison sentence, Russell received 2 years of mandatory supervised release.
Randall Lee Harrison Jr., 19, of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, died just after midnight on October 21, 2017 on Green Bay Road near 9th Street in Zion.
Harrison and a friend were violently struck by a convertible Chrysler Sebring, driven by Russell, while they were riding their bicycles, prosecutors said, adding that Harrison flew out of his socks and shoes during the impact.
Russell knew he hit the two men but fled the scene and left them laying in a grassy area off the roadway, prosecutors added.
After the crash, Russell drove to Fritz’s Corner in Zion and parked his vehicle behind a large commercial truck. He sat there for about two minutes before putting the top of the vehicle up and driving away, prosecutors said.
Russell then drove his car to a cornfield near the third hole of Big Oaks Golf Course in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, where he stripped the vehicle of his belongings and took off its license plates, prosecutors said.
The car was recovered five days later and police used the vehicle identification number to track the vehicle back to Russell.
Experts testified that DNA matching Russell was found on the steering wheel and DNA on the hood of the car was a probable match for Harrison.
Russell is required to serve at least half of the sentence before becoming eligible for mandatory supervised release. He will receive 513 days of credit for time already served in Lake County Jail while awaiting trial.
“I appreciate all of the hard work put in on this case by the Lake County Major Crash Assistance Team, and our trial team of Danielle Pascucci, Suzanne Willett, and Kristian Nordby,” Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim said.
“Our condolences continue to go out to the family of Randall Harrison.” Nerheim added.