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On Friday afternoon, Will County prosecutors Adam Capelli and Jeff Tuminello informed Judge Daniel Rippy they had completed their case. There was no more evidence to present to the jury in Sean Woulfe’s trial on 16 counts of reckless homicide.

Outside the jury’s presence, Judge Rippy turned his attention to the defense table where Woulfe sat along with his criminal defense lawyer of the past five years, downtown Joliet’s George Lenard.

Rippy asked if Woulfe planned to take the witness stand to testify in his own defense.

At that moment, Lenard rose from his chair and announced, “Judge, he has decided that he does not want to testify.”

Afterward, Rippy asked if Lenard planned to call any witnesses to testify on behalf of his client.

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Lenard told the judge the defense would not be putting on any evidence.

At left, Sean Woulfe informs Will County Judge Daniel Rippy that he has chosen not to testify in his own defense.John Ferak/Joliet Patch
And with that, this week’s trial in the Beecher tragedy came to an end.

Prosecutors for Will County State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow want the jury to find Woulfe criminally responsible for the July 2017 deaths of Beecher resident Lindsey Schmidt, 29, her unborn child, and her three young sons, Owen, Weston and Kaleb.

The Schmidt family died when Woulfe drove through a stop sign, traveling 83 or 84 mph, according to trial testimony from Will County Sheriff’s officials.

Woulfe’s 2002 Chevy S-10 pickup truck crashed into the driver’s side door of Lindsey Schmidt, killing her instantly.

The horrific wreck, one of the worst in Will County’s modern history, happened in rural Beecher at Corning Road and Yates Avenue. The area was surrounded by several soybean fields.

After Lenard informed the judge that the defense would not call any witnesses, Judge Rippy brought in the jury and told them they were being sent home for the weekend. They will return on Monday morning and that’s when the prosecutors, followed by Lenard, will have a chance to make their final arguments.

It’s also possible the jury will reach its verdict sometime Monday.

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