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Convict In DUI Crash That Killed 3 To Go Free

SHERIDAN, Ill. (CBS) -- A former McHenry man, who was jailed after killing a woman and her three children in a drunk driving case, is set to be freed Friday.

As WBBM Newsradio 780's Mary Frances Bragiel reports, Walter Depner, now 59, was convicted of reckless homicide nearly 12 years ago after crossing the center line of Route 120 in Lakemoor in the car he was driving, hitting the Burleson family head on.

Eva Burleson, 34, was killed in the crash, along with her children Daniel, 13; Tiffany, 11; and Dallis, 7, the Northwest Herald reported. A dog was also killed.

Thomas Burleson, her husband and the children's father, survived.

When Depner was arrested in the August 1999 crash, his blood alcohol level came in at 0.10, over the legal limit, the Chicago Tribune reported. He on probation for weapons offenses at the time, after police found he had a homemade bomb and numerous illegal guns behind a false wall in his home, the Tribune reported at the time.

The Burlesons had enjoyed a day at Six Flags Great America, and were heading home to Crystal Lake when Depner's van slammed into them, the Tribune reported.

The Northwest Herald reports Depner will be released from the Sheridan Correctional Center, and plans on living in northwest suburban Mount Prospect. Prison officials say the condition of his release includes no contact with the Burleson family and electronic detention.

At the time of his sentencing, the maximum Depner could have received was 14 years. Officials say new laws went into effect weeks after his arrest which could have keep him in prison for 28 years.

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