Ten months after police said Chesterfield resident Patrick J. McCormick drove his car head-on into another on Wildhorse Creek Road, killing the a Creve Coeur school teacher and injuring her teenage son, McCormick is expected to plead guilty Friday at 9 a.m. in St. Louis County Circuit Court.
teacher Janet Esrock died September 11, two weeks after the August 26 crash—having never regained consciousness. Her son, Jonathan Esrock was eventually released from hospital after multiple surgeries, and extensive therapy.
McCormick was charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter DWI and second-degree assault.
The prosecutor in the case, St. Louis County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Alan Key, said Thursday night McCormick would make a "blind plea"—typically a shortened term for "blind plea bargain."
No agreement on sentencing is attached to a blind plea. Sentencing is left entirely up to a judge.
Key said sentencing would be 6-8 weeks after McCormick's plea, putting it at about a year after the crash.
Key was prosecutor in the case of Sunset Hills cop Christine Miller who made a "blind plea" of guilty to a 2009 DWI crash that killed four Illinois grad students and injured one other.
Miller got eight years in prison, with parole possible after 6.5 years.
Esrock, 50, and her son Jon, 16 at the time, were returning from a neighbor's high school football game. Janet Esrock taught math and coached at Whitfield School. She left behind a husband and three children.
Esrock's husband, Chuck Esrock, is expected to attend McCormick's plea Friday.
What to expect
While each court case is different, the court and defendant in the Sunset Hills cop "blind plea" whispered the entire time. It was all but impossible for anyone beyond the rail to understand what was said. Sentencing was handled in the same way.
Observers had to scramble afterward to discover what exactly had gone down.
The defendant was then ushered from the court into a conference room with family.