Scott Larsen appeared in a Skokie, Ill. courtroom on March 11, where the Wisconsin accountant pleaded not guilty to felony reckless homicide charges in the January death of Illinois State Trooper Christopher Lambert.
According to a Chicago Tribune report, Larsen, 61, also pleaded not guilty to violating Scott’s Law, which increases potential penalties for motorists in Illinois who fail to reduce speed and stay clear of stopped emergency vehicles that display warning lights.
Larsen, who is free on $250,000 bond, didn’t speak during the hearing, the Tribune reported. His next scheduled court appearance is April 4.
Lambert, 34, who joined the Illinois State Police in 2013 and was a U.S. Army veteran who served in Iraq and Haiti, was on his way home at about 4:45 p.m. on Jan. 12 after finishing his shift when he pulled over on the shoulder of Interstate 294 to assist with two accidents that had just occurred in the snowy conditions, according to authorities.
The state trooper parked his unmarked squad car behind the vehicles involved in the crashes to protect the drivers from passing motorists. Authorities said Lambert had gotten out of his car to collect information from the people involved in the accidents. The emergency system on his car was activated.
Larsen, who was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee, passed vehicles that had stopped on the right shoulder and attempted to use the left shoulder to pass the accident scene when he hit Lambert, authorities said.
Lambert was transported to Glenbrook Hospital in Glenview, Ill., where he later died from serious injuries sustained in the crash.
Larsen was also hospitalized after the crash, according to the Chicago Tribune, and authorities said he was found to have cannabis in his system. He had admitted to authorities that he had vaped the drug the previous day, and a vape pipe was found in his car.
Larsen is the former owner of the Kenosha, Wis.-based CPA firm Villani Becker & Larsen, which merged with another firm in 2017 and is now known as SCL CPAs. Larsen no longer works at the firm.
He is also the founder of Payroll for Pastors, which provides payroll processing, bookkeeping, accounting, and income tax preparation services for churches and ministries.
In 2016, Larsen pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and second-degree recklessly endangering safety, a felony, for driving the wrong way on Highway 45 in Milwaukee County in 2014. According to reports, he nearly struck an ambulance before being stopped by police.
After passing the ambulance going the wrong way, Larsen did a U-turn on the highway and pulled over. When police arrived, they found Larsen peeing on the side of the road, according to reports.
Larsen was sentenced to 30 days in jail plus two years of probation for the 2016 conviction.