Off-duty CPD officer Terrance Finley, charged in deadly South Side crash, released on bond

Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Off-duty CPD officer charged in deadly South Side crash released on bond
The off-duty police officer charged with DUI and reckless homicide in a deadly crash over the weekend has been released on bond.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- An off-duty Chicago police officer has been charged with DUI and reckless homicide after police said he crashed into a South Side restaurant Sunday, killing a woman and injuring another.

Terrance Finley, 24, was charged with one felony count of reckless homicide with a motor vehicle, one felony count of aggravated DUI/accidental death, one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence and a citation for failure to reduce speed, police said Tuesday.

Finley appeared in bond court on Tuesday where Judge John Lyke set his bond at $40,000. He bonded out of Cook County Jail shortly after 6 p.m.

He walked out of jail with his head held down, wearing a baseball cap and with no comment for the media.

"He feels horrible about this. He's coping with it; he'll need some counseling obviously," said Tim Grace, defense attorney. "The family is mortified. They can't believe this happened."

Lyke said Finley, who has a clean record, allegedly made a big mistake.

"These are some of the toughest cases in criminal law," he said. "Most cases we're looking at intent. Here we're not."

Police said Finley was off-duty when he told first responders early Sunday that he swerved to avoid an accident as a car allegedly cut him off. Police said his Toyota Corolla jumped a curb and plowed into Tony's Philly Steak in the 1700-block of West 87th Street in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood.

"There was a car that struck-came across in front of him and he took evasive actions to get out of the way," Grace said.

Marquita Reed, 35, was inside the restaurant eating with friends at a table. She was pinned under the car and killed.

Finley stood silently in front of the judge as prosecutors details the charges against him

"Within five seconds of impact into the restaurant the defendant's vehicle gas pedal was at full throttle, the RPMs were at 5,000 and the defendant's speed increased from 73 to 75 miles per hour," said Assistant State's Attorney James Murphy.

The other vehicle involved in the incident continued driving, police said, and its whereabouts are currently unknown.

Prosecutors said Finley and a friend in another car were driving more than 70 mph down 87th Street.

Police also said Finley was driving under the influence. Superintendent Eddie Johnson said the officer's blood alcohol content was 0.083, which is just over the legal limit of 0.08.

Finley has been on the force since 2017, according to CPD spokesman Tom Ahern, and is assigned to the 3rd Police District in Grand Crossing. Finley was on his regular day off, in his personal car, police said.

Reed had recently gotten her nursing degree and was working as a nurse.

"She was a very loving person. Everybody loved her. She was a beautiful person," said Conai Jeffref, friend.

A 35-year-old woman standing inside suffered a leg injury. She was transported to Christ Medical Center in stable condition.

CPD will hold its own administrative hearing for Finley on Wednesday where authorities will determine whether Finley will be placed on non-paid status.

Finley is due back in court July 3.