Guilty verdicts in 2019 Seneca golf course crash

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Media Release: July 2, 2021

Attention: Assignment Editor
Director of Communications: Jeff Cooke
Office: (502) 595-2300 Ext. 3027
Cell / Text: (502) 262-5809

Today a Jefferson County jury brought some measure of justice to the family of Mr. Christopher Schulz, who was killed on August 11, 2019 by a drunk driver, Lazaro Osmany Pozo Illas, and to Mr. Brian Hovekamp, who was severely injured in the same collision. Defendant Illas was driving at twice the legal speed limit with a blood alcohol level at twice the level of presumed intoxication when his automobile smashed into the golf cart occupied by Mr. Schulz and Mr. Hovekamp as the cart was in a cross walk. Schulz and Hovekamp were life-long friends who were enjoying a round of golf at the Seneca Golf Course at the time of the collision.

Following the verdict Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine stated:

Prosecutors Justin Janes and Corey Taylor, along with lead officer Mark Batson of the Louisville Metro Police Department, worked diligently for almost two years to prepare this case. The tragic death of Mr. Schulz, and the serious injuries to Mr. Hovekamp, could have been avoided had Illas simply driven the speed limit and not consumed excessive amounts of alcohol. It is especially disturbing that this terrible, avoidable tragedy occurred in a heavily traveled area used by golfers, bicyclists, walkers and other motorists.

The jury verdict of guilt and recommended sentence of 30 years (*see below for breakdown of sentences) on the charges of Murder, Assault in the First Degree, Wanton Endangerment in the First Degree, Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Intoxicants and Operating a Motor Vehicle without and Operator’s License should be a reminder to all persons who drink and drive that these motor vehicle fatalities and injuries will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted, and the community, through the jury system, will impose serious sanctions.

As we prepare to the 4th of July festivities, we are reminded to drink responsibly and respect the speed limits on all roadways.

  • Murder – 20 years
  • Assault 1st – 10 years both sentences to consecutive with each other for a total of 30 years. Concurrent with the following sentences:
  • Wanton Endangerment 1 (2 counts) 1 year each count
  • Operating a Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Intoxicants – 30 days
  • Operating a Motor Vehicle with No Operator’s License – 90 days