Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

February 20, 2014

Effingham woman indicted in connection with traffic death

Bill Grimes
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — An Effingham woman was indicted Wednesday in connection with the December traffic death of a Watson teenager.

Melly R. Hofer, 35, was indicted by an Effingham County grand jury on charges of aggravated driving while under the influence of drugs causing death, a Class 2 felony; and reckless homicide, a Class 3 felony.

The grand jury found probable cause to arrest Hofer in connection with the death last Dec. 5 of Brittany Baker, 17. According to court documents, authorities allege Hofer was southbound on U.S. 45 in a 2003 Mercury Mountaineer — under the influence of drugs — when she drove into the path of the Baker vehicle about 422 feet south of the intersection with 1000th Street, just south of Central School.

In the reckless homicide charge, authorities allege Hofer was under the influence of alprazolam, hydroxyalprazolam and tramadol — known as Xanax, the active ingredient in Xanax, and Ultram, respectively — at the time of the crash.

Former Effingham County State's Attorney Ed Deters entered his appearance Thursday morning as Hofer's attorney. Hofer remained in jail Thursday in lieu of $200,000 bond, but a hearing on reduction of that bond is set for 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Bill Grimes can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 132, or at bill.grimes@effinghamdailynews.com