Sean Woulfe

Sean Woulfe

Orland man sentenced to 2 years for killing pregnant mom, 3 kids

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From staff reports

Sean Woulfe, who pleaded guilty rather than face a second trial for reckless homicide in the deaths of a pregnant woman and her three young sons in 2017, was sentenced last week to two years in prison for each count.

Woulfe will only have to serve two years as the five sentences were set by Will County Judge Dan Rippy to run concurrently.

Woulfe pleaded guilty in July to reckless homicide for running a stop sign in the morning of July 24, 2017, in rural Will County and slamming into a van being driven by Lindsey Schmidt who was taking her sons to a summer Bible camp near Crete. His car was traveling 82 mph at the time of the collision.

In March, Woulfe’s trial on 16 counts was declared a mistrial after the jury deadlocked 11-1.

Woulfe’s attorney, George Lenard, had sought probation for his client. At last Wednesday’s sentencing, Lenard reminded Rippy that his client had no alcohol or drugs in his system. Woulfe was also not texting. Now 30 years old, Woulfe was driving to work at AT&T at the time of the crash.

Although Woulfe did not testify in his own defense during his trial last March, he did address the courtroom last Wednesday. He turned his head toward the family members of the Schmidt family and told them how he thinks about the crash every day, and that he wishes he could change places with all five of the family members whose lives were lost as a result of his actions.

“I just hope they understand how terrible I feel and how sorry I am,” Woulfe told everyone. “I am not sure how to make it up to the family and to society.”

Assistant Will County State’s Attorney Adam Capelli asked Rippy to impose a prison sentence for Woulfe.

“The state does believe a sentence to the Department of Corrections (is warranted) to deter others (not) to commit the same crime. The behavior of the defendant was dangerous. These are the reasons why we have driver’s education course … we do believe it’s necessary to deter others.”

Lenard said Woulfe insisted in pleading guilty to spare the Schmidt family of having to endure another courtroom trial.

A church pastor who had known Lindsey Schmidt for much of his life, read a victim impact statement from Tammy Riechers, Lindsey’s mother. The letter described each of her children and how the loss of all their lives means that surviving family members will never be able to see them again until they are able to share eternal glory in heaven.

“What you have done to me and my family is unforgivable,” the letter informed Woulfe. “You should receive one year for every life you took from my (family), so five years minimum.”

Prosecutors had said Woulfe faced a prison term ranging between two and 10 years for the reckless homicide convictions.

Woulfe has been held at the Will County Jail since he pleaded guilty on July 21.

9 Comments

  1. denium on January 15, 2023 at 8:14 am

    A couple of years…?. That leaves a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach. He would have to leave earth in order to be safe after getting such a BS sentence.



  2. Robert B on January 15, 2023 at 10:16 am

    6 months a person. this is a total slap in the face to the loved ones of this family and a simple slap on the wrist to this killer.



  3. James Packard on January 15, 2023 at 11:29 am

    Killed a total of 5 living beings and he gets 2 years. That’s bullshit!!!!



  4. Loretta Dorsey on January 15, 2023 at 1:18 pm

    The fact that this defendant was proven not to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, proves that he was just being reckless with no regard for human life. So it was nothing but his attitude and his decisions that five people are dead. I agree with the relative who stated he should do at least one year in prison for every life he took.



  5. Anthony on January 15, 2023 at 1:22 pm

    I don’t care if he plead guilty, he should have gotten more time because he killed an entire family. One thing that is a FACT, if he was a person of color he would have gotten the book thrown at him for killing a precious white woman and her children, and she was pregnant too.



  6. Mike Daugherty on January 15, 2023 at 7:41 pm

    This sentence is a slap in the face to this family …… These types of rulings do nothing to deture crime ….



  7. Ester Askew on January 16, 2023 at 10:21 am

    Family and friends of the victims need to follow this judge to ensure he’s removed from the bench, and if he was elected to make certain he’s never re-elected. It’s evident he’s incompetent and has no business sitting in judgement. Start now put together a petition to have this fool removed



  8. Kr on January 16, 2023 at 1:56 pm

    These precious people were part of my family. This should have gone back to trial, the prosecutor flinched. Wasn’t confident in his ability to get a conviction because 1 previous juror held out. No deal should have been made and no slap in the face sentence. Lyndsey was one of the sweetest, kindest souls I had ever met and those boys were so special.



  9. Valencia on January 17, 2023 at 10:14 am

    One family lost 3 loved ones and an unborn baby forever.
    One man loses freedom for less than a decade.
    One mistrial. One deadlocked jury.
    This sentencing is incomprehensible.
    One mother responsibly driving her family.
    One man recklessly operating a motor vehicle.
    One flawed justice system.



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