Ill. trooper indicted on homicide charges



BELLEVILLE, Ill. — A state trooper has been indicted on reckless homicide charges that accuse him of using excessive speed -- more than 120 mph -- when he swerved into an oncoming car, killing two teenage sisters.

State police, who investigated the Nov. 23 wreck, recommended that prosecutors charge Trooper Matt Mitchell with reckless homicide. But the prosecutor deferred to the grand jury, which on Friday returned one reckless homicide count for each of the sisters.

The panel also charged Mitchell with two aggravated reckless driving counts related to the injuries of two survivors in the crash on Interstate 64, just east of St. Louis.

If convicted, he could be sentenced up to five years in prison for the homicide charges. The reckless driving charges carry a sentence of up to three years.

Mitchell has been ordered to appear in court on the charges. No bond was set.

Mitchell has an unlisted home telephone number and could not be reached for comment Friday. Court records did not list an attorney for him, a circuit court clerk said.

A coroner's jury ruled the deaths of Collinsville sisters Jessica Uhl, 18, and Kelli Uhl, 13, reckless homicides, finding that Mitchell was driving 126 mph en route to another accident when he lost control of his patrol car the day after Thanksgiving. He swerved across a median at 102 mph and slammed into the sisters' oncoming car.

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