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Judge turns down plea for lighter sentence in road rage case

Published: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 10:53 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 9:54 p.m. CDT

A defense lawyer arguing for a lighter sentence for his client said the victim in a 2011 road rage confrontation had his own anger issues.

Attorney Cliff Johnson said Tuesday that Frank Egas, who eventually died after being punched in the 2011 confrontation in Romeoville, had entered anger management classes in 2010 and had been involved in previous road rage incidents himself. Johnson, however, did not offer any details on those incidents.

Johnson's client, Christopher Yeoman, 41, of Lemont, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder.

Johnson also said that Egas had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Judge Sarah Jones was unmoved by Johnson's argument and ordered Yeoman transferred to prison to serve his convictions of second-degree murder and aggravated battery to a senior citizen. Yeoman will be eligible for parole in nine years.

In 2011, Yeoman was driving with his family when he gave a "hurry up" tap on the horn to Egas, who was waiting to turn ahead of them on 135th Street. Egas began yelling, sticking out his middle finger and cutting off Yeoman's minivan until the vehicles reached Route 53, where Christopher and Amanda Yeoman got out to confront him.

When the Yeomans went back to their minivan, Egas got out and pointed to his chin, telling Yeoman to hit him, according to witnesses. Yeoman testified during his trial in February that he struck in self-defense because he thought Egas was going to punch him.

Egas' head struck the pavement, causing brain injuries that medical experts testified led to his death three months later at the age of 64.

Johnson also argued Egas' fall at a rehabilitation clinic led to further brain injury after the confrontation.

"You're asking me to make a leap of faith [to conclude that] without any testimony that supported that during the trial," Jones told him.

Amanda Yeoman declined to comment after Jones decided not to reconsider her husband's sentence.

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