A judge sentenced a Chicago man to 31 years in prison after he was found “guilty but mentally ill” on murder charges for intentionally crashing head-on into a van and killing its driver near Hebron.
William P. Bishop, 44, of Chicago, was charged in June 2020 with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated battery, reckless homicide, aggravated reckless driving and two counts of aggravated driving under the influence.
The incident occurred on May 18, 2020, in the 11500 block of Vanderkarr Road in unincorporated Hebron.
Sheriff’s deputies arrived and found a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 2003 Chevrolet 3500 cargo van that crashed on Vanderkarr Road west of Kemman Road.
McHenry County Sheriff Sgt. Aimee Knop said at the time that an investigation indicated the Jeep, driven by Bishop, was traveling westbound on Vanderkarr Road.
The Jeep crossed into the eastbound lane of traffic onto the eastbound shoulder where it struck the front of the eastbound Chevrolet.
The Chevrolet rolled over and the driver, Jason Miller, 41, of McHenry, was pronounced dead at the scene, the McHenry County Coroner’s Office said.
The passenger, McHenry resident Rory Fiali, was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Miller and Fiali had just finished a job in Harvard when the collision occurred, which left both men trapped in the van.
Fiali is still in an inpatient rehabilitation center to this day.
Bishop was transported to a local hospital and consented to blood testing, which showed more than twice the legal limit of THC in his blood, prosecutors said.
A cannabis vaping device was found in Bishop’s vehicle along with other cannabis-imbibing paraphernalia.
An expert witness testified at trial that Bishop was traveling between 80-87 mph at the time of the crash and the victims’ van attempted evasive maneuvers to avoid the crash.
Interviews with Bishop following the incident revealed that he intentionally crashed head-on into the victims’ vehicle, prosecutors said, adding that Bishop accelerated before crossing the center line.
McHenry County State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said at the time that prosecutors believed Bishop was trying to harm himself.
Bishop did not know the victims of the vehicle he struck.
Drivers of both vehicles were wearing their seatbelts but the passenger of the Chevrolet was not wearing his seatbelt, Knop said.
A bench trial was held in October in front of McHenry County Judge Michael Coppedge.
Prosecutors argued that Bishop acted intentionally and criminally.
Coppedge announced in November that he had found Bishop guilty “but mentally ill” on the charges, court records show.
A finding of guilty but mentally ill means Bishop will still be sentenced to prison but he will receive mental health treatment while serving his sentence.
Bishop has been free on a $1 million bond following his arrest. His bond was revoked following the verdict.
Coppedge on Thursday sentenced Bishop to 31 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections. He had faced a maximum of 74 years.
The first 24 years of his sentence will be served at 100% and the second half of the sentence of seven years will be served at 85%.