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New DUI charge for man in 1999 drunken-driving crash that killed mother, kids

Updated: February 28, 2013 7:01PM

McHenry County prosecutors filed a felony DUI charge against a parolee who spent nearly 12 years in prison for a 1999 drunken-driving crash that killed a mother and her three children.

The new charge alleges that Walter Depner, 61, of Mount Prospect, was driving under the influence of a prescription medication when he was arrested Sunday night in far northwest suburban Lakemoor.

If convicted, Depner could face a five- to 10-year prison term.

He also was charged with felony driving on a revoked license.

Depner’s bond was set at $60,000 during a brief court appearance Thursday.

Depner was arrested after police investigated reports that a car drove off the road. A second caller who lived close by reported minutes later that a man had driven into his driveway and walked uninvited into his home, authorities said.

Depner’s arrest happened near the site of the 1999 head-on collision that killed Crystal Lake resident Eva Burleson, 34, and her children, Daniel, 13, Tiffany, 11, and Dallis, 7.

Depner received a maximum 14-year prison term after being convicted of felony DUI and reckless homicide. He served nearly 12 years in prison before being paroled in June 2011.

His parole, which ultimately could be revoked because of his new arrest, was scheduled to end in June.

He was being held in the McHenry County Jail.

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