Man who killed British tourists with Porsche gets prison time

Reuters News
Posted: Jul 06, 2011 5:48 PM
Man who killed British tourists with Porsche gets prison time

By Mary Wisniewski

CHICAGO (Reuters) - An Illinois man who was sentenced to house arrest for hitting and killing two British tourists in Florida with his Porsche must serve up to 9 months in prison, but for a different crime, officials said on Wednesday.

The Illinois Prison Review Board revoked parole for Ryan LeVin for violating the terms of his release for a 2006 car chase in which he injured a Chicago police officer.

LeVin, a member of a wealthy Chicago-area family, had gone to Florida to answer charges in the deaths of the two British men, without telling his Illinois parole officer, according to Review Board Chair Adam Monreal.

He has been in prison in Illinois since the first half of June to await the parole violation hearing, and now must serve another six to nine months, depending on his behavior and other factors, said Monreal, who heard LeVin's case Wednesday.

"Although I fully understand he had to go down and answer the charges, he should have sought permission," said Monreal.

LeVin was on probation from the Illinois case when he killed British tourists Craig Elford, 39, and Kenneth Watkins, 48, on February 13, 2009. LeVin later admitted to being behind the wheel of his Porsche when it killed the two men.

LeVin's lawyer, David Bogenschutz, said that he had called LeVin's parole officer the day after LeVin got to Florida to answer the vehicular homicide charges.

"There was clearly a violation -- I think it was a de minimus violation," said Bogenschutz of the Illinois parole case. He said LeVin's previous time served and the time he spent on parole will be considered in determining how long he will have to stay in prison now. Bogenschutz said it could be between 90 days and 8 months.

A Florida judge sentenced LeVin to two years of house arrest for the deaths of the two British men, followed by 10 years of probation. LeVin also agreed to pay retribution to the victims' families, for an undisclosed amount, according to Broward State Attorney's Office spokesman Ron Ishoy.

(Writing by Mary Wisniewski, Editing by Greg McCune)