A judge ordered a Crystal Lake man, who is a convicted murderer, detained pending trial after authorities say he drove under the influence of drugs and crashed head-on, killing a grandfather near Lake Villa.
The fatal crash occurred around 9:50 p.m. on February 3 on Route 59 south of Route 132 in unincorporated Lake Villa.
Lake County sheriff’s deputies arrived and located a GMC Acadia and Kia Sorento with major damage, according to Lake County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Christopher Covelli.
An investigation showed the GMC, driven by Craig B. Muzard, now 74, of Crystal Lake, was traveling northbound on Route 59.
The GMC veered into the southbound lanes of traffic, Covelli said.
The GMC struck the southbound Kia, driven by George Giannakakis, 73, of Ingleside, head-on.
Both drivers were transported by ambulance to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville with critical injuries.
Giannakakis was pronounced deceased shortly after arriving at the hospital, Covelli said.
Covelli said that witnesses reported the GMC was swerving prior to the crash.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Technical Crash Investigations Team determined Muzard was driving under the influence of cocaine.
“His being under the influence played a direct role in the crash and death of Giannakakis,” Covelli said in an update last week.
Giannakakis’ obituary said he leaves behind a wife of 52 years, along with three children and multiple grandchildren.
The Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office reviewed the case after the investigation was completed and approved charges of aggravated driving under the influence of drugs resulting in death, a Class 2 felony, and reckless homicide, a Class 3 felony.
“The tragic death of Mr. Giannakakis is another sad example of someone being killed by the reckless actions of another. While nothing will bring Mr. Giannakakis back, I am happy the first step of justice has been taken,” Lake County Sheriff John Idleburg said.
“Our traffic crash investigators will always hold drunk, drugged, and distracted drivers accountable for their selfish actions,” Idleburg said.
Muzard was arrested without incident last Wednesday at his Crystal Lake residence by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Warrants Team.
Court documents show Muzard was convicted of murder in 1988. He shot a 29-year-old man multiple times on February 21, 1986, during a confrontation with the man, who Muzard’s wife had engaged in an affair with.
Muzard was sentenced to 20 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections in the case.
A detention hearing was held on Wednesday after Muzard’s arrest last week in the fatal DUI crash.
Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Francis DeRosa said in addition to the murder conviction, Muzard was sentenced in 2006 to seven years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after being convicted of manufacturing or delivery of cocaine.
DeRosa said Muzard also has a prior violation for driving under the influence case from 2018.
Prosecutors filed a petition to detain Muzard pending trial, calling him a real and present danger to the community.
Attorney Vanessa Sheehan, who is representing Muzard, said her client was cooperative with the investigation and has health issues that would be better addressed outside of custody.
Lake County Judge Theodore Potkonjak granted the petition to detain Muzard pending trial after agreeing with prosecutors.
Muzard is scheduled to appear in court again on January 25.