Convicted killer's sentence reduced

Convicted killer's sentence reduced
By: Arnold Wyrick
HARRISBURG, Ill. - It was a warm summer night back in 2002 when the lives of Forrest and Doug Hurd came to a tragic end.  That July night the Hurd's truck was struck broadside by a car being driven by Raymond Moss.  The truck flipped and caught on fire killing the two Saline County musicians.
Two years later a jury found Raymond Moss guilty of Reckless Homicide and Aggravated DUI.  The judge sentenced Moss to 25 years in prison for his crimes.
But in September 2006 the Illinois 5th District Court of Appeals over-turned the lower courts decision and recommended that Moss' sentence be reduced from 25 years, down to two, to five years on the Reckless homicide conviction.
The appellate court's judges cited their reason for over-turning the initial sentencing based upon the time of Moss' crime and his conviction dates.  And that the sentencing guidelines were increased after Moss committed the crime.
On Tuesday, dressed in a Saline County Detention Center jail uniform Moss made his way into the courtroom shackled and handcuffed.
His attorney Gene Gross asked the judge to have the handcuffs removed, and the judge honored that request.
Then Gross began arguing his point for why Moss should only be sentenced in accordance to the appellate court's recommendations, and not to the length of time the Saline County State's Attorney David Nelson was asking for, which was 10 years.
Nelson cited Moss' numerous felony convictions, and the fact that at the time of the fatal crash killing the Hurd brothers, Moss was out on bond for 3 other felony arrest, of which he was awaiting trial on.  And the other mitigating factor in Nelson's argument to the judge for sentencing Moss for the extended time was the fact that Moss had killed 2 people while driving drunk.
Judge Ron Eckiss agreed and sentenced Moss to 10 years for the Reckless Homicide conviction and 6 years for Aggravated DUI.  The sentences are to run concurrently.
When Judge Eckiss asked Moss if he wished to make a statement, Moss replied yes.
"I was not guilty then, and I'm not guilty now.  I've been innocent all along.  I can't understand why you keep sending an innocent man to prison.  I'm in jail for something I didn't do," Moss said.
Moss can't appeal the judgement in this case.  But, he can appeal the ruling and sentencing handed down on Tuesday.  And he must do so within 30 days of his sentencing date. 
Moss was returned to the Illinois Department of Corrections following the court procedures.