Recent Charges Upgraded Against Man Convicted of Killing Area Family in DUI Crash

Walter J. Depner now faces felony charges for allegations that he drove drunk this past Sunday, according to the Daily Herald.

A 61-year-old Mount Prospect man convicted of driving drunk and killing four Crystal Lake family members in 1999 now faces upgraded charges for allegations that he drove drunk this past Sunday, McHenry County prosecutors told the Daily Herald. 

Walter J. Depner, who was originally charged with misdemeanors for the Sunday incident, now faces felony charges of aggravated driving under the influence and driving while license revoked, according to the article. He is expected in court Thursday morning

Depner was out on parole prior to his arrest on Sunday and served 12 years of a 14-year sentence for the DUI-related crash that killed Eva Burleson, 34; and her three children, Daniel, 13; Tiffany, 11; and Dallis, 7, according to the Northwest Herald. 

Tom Burleson was driving his family's mini-van back from a day at Six Flags Great America at the time of the crash and was the sole survivor in the accident, according to the Northwest Herald. 

This past Sunday, the McHenry County Sheriff's Office was called to 905 W. Rand Road in unincorporated Lakemoor for a report of a vehicle that had driven off the road, according to a sheriff's office news release. 

Around the same time, police received a second call regarding an unwanted subject at a home in the 500 block of North Boulevard in unincorporated Lakemoor, according to the press release. 

Upon arriving at Rand Road, deputies saw the vehicle that had veered off the road was gone, according to the news release. 

Meanwhile, at the North Boulevard house, the homeowner told deputies a man pulled his car into his driveway, walked into his house and sat on his couch. The homeowner recognized the intruder as someone who used to live in the neighborhood, the news release stated. 

The unwanted guest was identified as Depner who now lives at 1717 Aralia Drive in Mount Prospect, according to the press release. 

Sheriff’s deputies spoke with Depner, who said had had been at his girlfriend’s house and they had gotten into an argument. Depner appeared intoxicated and took his girlfriend’s vehicle for a drive in his old neighborhood.

Police said Depner was upset, and his speech was slurred. The McHenry Township Fire Protection District responded to the scene and provided Depner with medical attention, according to the news release. 

The vehicle Depner was driving had snow on the left bumper with minor damage to it. There was no property damage located on Rand Road. Depner was transported to Centegra Hospital McHenry for medical treatment. 

Bond for Depner was originally set at $1,500. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 15.


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