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Carly Rousso Pleads Not Guilty in 5-Year-Old's Death

The 18-year-old Highland Park resident who crashed her car into a family on Labor Day, killing a 5-year-old girl, formally denied that she huffed a cleaning product before the crash while in court on Thursday.

The 18-year-old Highland Park resident who crashed her car into a family on Labor Day, killing a 5-year-old girl, formally denied that she huffed a cleaning product before the crash Thursday, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento: The Story So Far

Carly Rousso stood quietly in court on Thursday as her lawyer entered not guilty pleas for her charges of reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence, according to NBC Chicago.

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Rousso was driving eastbound on Central Avenue on Labor Day afternoon . Jaclyn Santos-Sacramento, 5, was killed.

Toxicology reports indicate that the compound Difluoroethane was detected in Rousso's blood, according to the grand jury indictment. The compound was found in a commercial cleaning product uncovered in Rousso's car, according to Ken LaRue, the Lake County State's Attorney's Traffic Division chief.

If convicted on all charges, Rousso could go to prison for a maximum of 26 years, the Tribune reports. Her trial date has been set for Feb. 1.

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Walter White October 19, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Please tell me you're kidding.
Dan Jenks October 19, 2012 at 06:41 PM
David, "you are correct" - can't believe the words coming out on my keyboard:) - innocent until proven guilty by the State. Even if one is guilty, it isn't un-American or wrong or "an outrage" to plead not guilty and have a trial where all the facts can come out - it's a constitutional right.
sibuna October 19, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Hey Doug, why don't you just head up a mob as you wave torches, garden tools, and long-barreled rifles and go storm her house, drag her out and lynch her like back in the Wild West?
Walter White October 19, 2012 at 07:12 PM
This is the same loon who declared war on the Park District. Not surprising I guess.
sibuna October 19, 2012 at 07:13 PM
And don't think for a moment that Carly is standing independent and strong and calling all the shots including how she'll plead because thing about it: Surely, she has her parents and her attorney and whomever else is surrounding here, completely controlling her every move and not allowing her to make any decisions in this case. She may be 18, but they're probably treating her like she's a little kid and dictating her every move. We don't know if she truly believes she should be pleading guilty but can't because they won't allow her to as they fill her head with a bunch of delusional facts. And to Christine Benton calling Carly a pig? A pig? Really, Christine? That's the best comment/thought you could conjure up? Your comment is that of a 5-year-old. I'm not defending Carly; I'm merely looking at this from all angles and shaking my head at the idiotic comments from those lashing out in irrational thoughts.
V October 19, 2012 at 07:49 PM
But the not-guilty plea would only affect the charge of DUI, correct? Reckless homicide is still pretty easily proven in this case... at least I think so.... unless they're going to conjure up some story that a ghost was driving the car.
HOLLY SIGMAN October 19, 2012 at 08:49 PM
It would be nice if people owned up to there mistakes. Healing and forgiveness could occur much sooner
Lisa Remer Hirsh October 19, 2012 at 09:31 PM
I think Carly should take responsibility for what she's done. I understand that her plea is standard, but for this little girl and her family, her plea is a slap in the face! Carly's family wants to keep her out if jail, but maybe they should stop protecting her and let her serve her time and take responsibility for her actions. the face
Bob Smith October 19, 2012 at 10:01 PM
David Greenberg should have more to do than comment on everything going on in highland park. This plus the beach and much more.
Walter White October 19, 2012 at 10:36 PM
When you're an expert on every subject known to man you have to take every opportunity to share that knowledge with the masses.
Walter White October 19, 2012 at 10:39 PM
"Walter, I'm certainly not an expert on everything. I enjoy vigorous debate on a variety of issues."
Marci October 20, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Carly, how can you live with yourself. Obviously, you have no conscience! Shame on you!!!
David Greenberg October 20, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Walter: Responding to yourself? Wow. Bob: Did I say something that offended you?
David Greenberg October 20, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Walter: Doug is not a loon, he and over 1000 other persons signed a petition that expressed disagreement with the Rosewood Beach Interpretative Center project. Are you saying that the signers are all looney? Doug and others have appeared before the various entities having supervision or control over aspects of the project to express their displeasure - part and parcel of our method of Government (cf: First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States; "Congress shall make no law… abridging … the right of the people… to petition the government for a redress of grievances.") I'm not certain why you find it necessary to attack persons who happen to disagree with you.
Walter White October 20, 2012 at 02:15 AM
Interesting you quote the constitution while defending someone who wants to play judge, jury, and executioner without the due process of law. I can think of nothing more offensive in a society. I couldn't care less about your 1,000 signatures. Declare war all you want General Patton. The elected officials have made their decision....just like, hmmm, the school board. You know, the one you vigourously defended against the teachers? Time to take your own advice.
David Greenberg October 20, 2012 at 02:40 AM
"Interesting you quote the constitution while defending someone who wants to play judge, jury, and executioner without the due process of law." - what are you talking about? I've always worked to preserve, protect, and defend due process of Law. Doug and I agree on some things, and disagree on others. Even though we may disagree, I'll defend his right to speak his mind, just as countless others have done in defense of our Country (which includes my relatives). Yes, some elected officials have made their decisions, but not all. And the right of the People to air their grievances before THEIR Government is part of due process. Sure I agreed with the D112 School Board's position, what's wrong with that? Some other people also fell on both sides of the fence, and others hadn't decided either way. Again, nothing wrong with any of it.
Jack Straw October 20, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Crazy as it is, I might be with Walter on this. This is a tragedy almost the definition of the of the word tragedy. A young child lost a mother and a family is devastated. But don’t look past the fact this is a very young girl that made a horrible mistake that will always be a part of her life, the true fact is she blacked out after doing a drug drove of the road and forever changed the lives of many. She will face the weight of the legal system. My only hope for this young girl is that she finds a purpose and some day will add to society.
David Greenberg October 20, 2012 at 04:46 AM
I agree - this is a horrible tragedy for all involved. But the trial isn't over and the facts haven't come out yet. We THINK she may have blacked out immediately after doing a drug, but we don't know that for a FACT just yet. There was a DustOff canister found in her car, but did she do it while driving, before driving, or at some point earlier in time? DustOff is reported to cause some odd problems with the user's central nervous system and even bone growth as a result of usage. These problems could have been caused by abuse of the DustOff, and manifested while she was driving even though she didn't inhale while driving or shortly before driving. She could have fallen during a previous use of DustOff, had a concussion, and that could have caused the accident. Testing for this substance is difficult - so it's really up to the State to prove that they crossed their t's and dotted their i's when collecting the sample and then testing it. If they didn't, that's a problem for the State's case and does also exacerbate this tragic situation. But since innocence is assumed and guilt must be proven, the burden is on the State - if they don't get it right, the evidence could be thrown out, and then we have a death and severe injuries to contend with - but it may not be chargeable as a criminal case, and it may boil down to the resolution of a Civil case (which has a lower burden of proof since there's no criminal penalties that apply).
Benny G. October 20, 2012 at 06:23 AM
Wait until the defense excoriates the HP police department about how badly they botched the scene and evidence collections and handling of the alleged offender. It will be juicy. Rest assured, the dumb police botched it somehow. "Proving" she huffed right before the deadly event will be impossible. It will be circumstantial at best. There will be so many factors to this case not discussed here by my fellow Perry Masons. The posters saying that Carly should just fess up and admit guilt are moronic emotional blood thirsty imbeciles. Her parents have hired Johnny Cochran and the state will push forth Chris Darden and Marcia Clark. At the end of the day this girl may do a year or less or time served. The most she will get is 3 years and less with time served. Would you admit guilt and put the next two decades plus in the hands of some turd elected official "judge" who could not make it as a private attorney and mandatory minimums? I doubt it. David Greenberg and Walter White, to equate Purington's views on the Rosewood Beach Interpretative Center project to his views (albeit blood thirsty) on the death of a five year old baby is comical. It is truly insensitive and semi disgusting in my opinion.
Chilawyer October 20, 2012 at 06:36 PM
"Pig" was a mild comment, and too kind at that. Pigs are intelligent, domesticated animals. Carly is a stupid, wild animal, bereft of conscience. The closest she comes to pig is wild boar.
Chilawyer October 20, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Benny, you are forgetting that eye witnesses saw her drive into this family and drive over them again by backing up and going forward again. That will corroborate the toxicology evidence that she was huffing. (What other explanation can she give for running over these people repeatedly--that she didn't see them until she got out of her car?) Also, the only way for her to even begin to rebut the toxicology evidence is to testify that she wasn't huffing. Her lawyer will never let her testify, because even "Chris Darden" could destroy her on cross-examination. (Incidentally, your disparagement of the State's Attorneys assigned to this case is wholly unwarranted, and you don't even try to back it up). Carly has pled not guillty, at the direction of her counsel, just as any other person charged with a serious crime pleads not guilty. Her lawyers need time to try to reach a plea bargain. That is probably futile in his case, because of the notoriety of the case, Jacylyn's young age, and the unwillingness of an affluent suburban family to accept the fact that their daughter will be incarcerated for many years.
Benny G. October 20, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Chilawyer, "incarcerated for many years."...please. You watch too much TV. You said " Benny, you are forgetting that eye witnesses saw her drive into this family and drive over them again by backing up and going forward again. That will corroborate the toxicology evidence that she was huffing."...OH OKAAAAY. There are one million explanations for her backing up and going forward again. How do you draw such a falicious conclusion with your chilawyer moniker? She was scared, she was nervous, she was disoriented by the accident, she hit her head, she thought the bystanders were going to hurt her, she was confused. The list of reasons is endless. The affluent suburban family has accepted nothing at this point other than to mount a vigorous defense against incompetent government employees and low IQ judges. There will be no Latinos on that jury either...if it gets to trial.
David Greenberg October 21, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Benny, I never equated Doug Purington's views on Rosewood to his views of how Ms. Russo should be treated. I merely responded to Walter's comment where he called Doug a "loon".
Walter White October 21, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Ok forget the Park District. He's a loon for declaring someone guilty before the trial. Satisfied?
Chilawyer October 22, 2012 at 04:35 AM
Benny G. There is only one person who can testify in support of the hypothetical excuses you have laid out for Carly, and that is Carly. Her lawyer will never let her testify, so the excuses will never come in. Explanations do not present themselves, they have to come in through witnesses. Before you continue your unwarranted attacks on "incompetent" state's attorneys and "low IQ judges" (your fervor is starting to suggest you have had some unsuccessful experiences with the legal system), try spelling "falicious" correctly -- it's fallacious.
Ari Favela October 25, 2012 at 05:32 PM
And now they are sealing evidence against Carly. Is there no justice for Jaclyn? I guess not, when mommy and daddy are flipping big bucks. To think that Jaclyn's parents came to the US for a better life only to have their daughter murdured by a spoiled rich kid.
SMG November 05, 2012 at 05:23 AM
I hate when class envy comes in the way of intelligent conversation. "Spoiled rich kid?" Seriously.
SMG November 05, 2012 at 05:24 AM
Carly's parents are doing what any parent would do for their child.
Ari Favela November 05, 2012 at 03:20 PM
My sincerest apologies if my lack of compassion and discernment has offended you. Nevertheless, you are correct. What matters is what she is, not what I or anyone else elects to call her as her actions speak louder than words.
Jewel December 24, 2012 at 06:48 AM
You guys DONT know Carly. She is an EXTREMELY loving, caring, wonderful girl to be around. It may not seem so to you people reading about this tragic incident and hating on her(even though you probably don’t know a thing about her or her life)but she was. She cracked the funniest jokes and did the most hilarious things! I know this because I am a close friend. Car is AMAZING. She is fun and I cared about her deeply. In my opinion Carly really does deserve a visit with her grandmother in Arizona. I’m not trying to discount\deny the grief in the Sacramento family. I just wanted to tell you all that she too is a human being with feelings and calling her rude names and trying to put her down is NOT okay. I love you Car and I got your back 101%!

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