St. Louis Public Radio News
6:00 pm
Tue March 23, 2010

Metro East prosecutor withdraws plea deal in crash involving trooper

St. Louis – Prosecutors in St. Clair County have withdrawn a plea bargain offered to an Illinois state trooper accused of homicide in a freeway wreck that killed two sisters.

State's attorney Robert Haida said Tuesday he believes it's in the best interests of the victim's parents that he prosecute trooper Matt Mitchell for reckless homicide. He says complications with a civil case halted the deal, but would not elaborate.

Prosecutors allege Mitchell was traveling more than 100 miles an hour along Interstate 64 in 2007 when he veered into the path of the car driven by Jessica Uhl, 18, and her 13-year-old sister Kelli. The sisters, Collinsville natives, died at the scene. Mitchell was seriously injured, and has been on paid suspension since the crash.

Mitchell has pleaded not guilty. He says he was speeding to assist other rescuers at a fiery crash. The 2007 crash was his third in six years as a trooper.