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Kenosha College Student Thanks Lawyer For Her Recent Exoneration For Charges Related To Near-Deadly Crash

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Marissa Chon, 19, of Kenosha, WI
(Submitted Photo)

On May 19, 2023, Marissa Chon was doing what many college students do on a Friday night – drinking alcohol with friends. She was with her then-boyfriend, Elijah J. Schoffstall, a Carthage soccer player. At about 2:21 am, the two were involved in a serious car wreck at Carthage College, a school where they both attended. Both were severely injured and were lucky to survive. Police and bystanders quickly arrived at the scene of the crash to render aid.

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Chon’s 2016 Honda Civic At Crash Scene
(Photo Courtesy Kenosha Police)
Chon’s 2016 Honda Civic At Crash Scene
(Photo Courtesy Kenosha Police)

Schoffstall was lying on the ground when police arrived and was quick to blame his girlfriend, Chon as being the driver of the vehicle. Two women, who were on the scene when police arrived, were not involved, but stopped to help. They told police that Marissa admitted to being the driver of the car, however, her acknowledgment was only a head-nod, not a verbal admission. Unknown to anyone at the time, Marissa had suffered a severe concussion and broken jaw. She did not remember who was driving, but told police that usually no one else drives her car. She didn’t even remember who was inside the car when it crashed. Both her and her boyfriend appeared intoxicated to police.

One Kenosha Police Officer did however note that the seat of the Honda Civic was all the way back. Chon is very short and Schoffstall was very tall. Schoffstall was in possession of a fake ID.

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Elijah J. Schoffstall, 19, of Inverness, IL
(Carthage College Website)

Based on Eli Schoffstall’s statement that Chon was driving, and her admissions to two witnesses, she was arrested and charged with a serious felony called “Injury by Intoxicated Use of A Vehicle.” She was facing 12.5 years being bars in a Wisconsin prison, Chon stuck to her original story that she was not driving. Her story never changed.

Chon’s 2016 Honda Civic At Impound Yard
(Photo Courtesy Kenosha Police)
Chon’s 2016 Honda Civic At Impound Yard
(Photo Courtesy Kenosha Police)

Police noticed that there were spots of blood on both the driver’s side and passengers’ side airbags. The detective collected the driver’s side airbag and swabbed the blood from the passenger side airbag.

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Criminal Defense Attorney Mark Richards
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Chon and her family hired prominent Racine criminal defense attorney Mark Richards and he got to work. Richards noticed the Kenosha Police officer who said on his body-worn-camera something to the effect of “there is no way she was driving, look how far back the seat is” He also noticed that police took the blood from the airbags. At great cost to Chon and her family, Richards sent the airbags to be tested for DNA.

Blood on Airbag
(Photo Courtesy Kenosha Police)

The results were remarkable. Chon’s blood was on the passenger’s’ side airbag and Schoffstall’s DNA was on the driver’s side airbag. The evidence is almost 100% conclusive that Schoffstall was driving, and thus lied to police and threw his girlfriend under the bus. The Kenosha DA’s office dismissed charges against Marissa Chon.

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KCE spoke with Chon’s mother Kirsten, who said that Marissa was and is very traumatized by this entire ordeal. She wishes that the DA’s office would have waited to charge her daughter until all of the evidence was back. Kirsten is furious that Schoffstall lied to the police and let Marissa take the fall. Kirsten was upset that police didn’t let Marissa call her family after the crash. She also said that the Kenosha DA appears to be “trying to sweep this under the rug,” as the real drunk driver hasn’t been arrested or charged.

Chon and her mother are both very thankful that Attorney Richards was able to exonerate Marissa and think if they didn’t hire him, that might not have occurred.

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Kenosha County DA Michael Graveley (D)
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

KCE spoke with Kenosha County DA Mike Graveley who couldn’t comment on specifics, but did tell us that the case was still under review by its office. KCE does have knowledge that medical blood draws require extra time to be used in court for prosecution, so it doesn’t immediately appear that the DA’s office is doing anything unusual.

If and when Schoffstall is charged, you’ll read it first here, on KCE.

Chon’s family told KCE that she has always been an honor student, from early school years through college. She loves the outdoors and staying active. She enjoys cross country and soccer.

If you’re interested in helping this couch student, here is a link where you can chip in five bucks or more.

https://gofund.me/2f71cddf

Author

  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.

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23 Responses

  1. Schoffstall has a future in the RNC. A poster child. Lie like a mthrfkr. Supreme Court bound. From Inverness and all…

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  2. Put that other kid away 10 fold for lying! Obstruction of justice and driving under the influence under 21. Pretty sure that’s a felony in all 50 states.

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  3. Why does the defense have to send the airbag for testing? It should be on the State to have the DNA test done. The State has to prove guilt. The defense doesn’t have to prove innocents. Feels like that is flipping the system on its head.

  4. Y’all have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about. Saying this kid should be locked up and u have no idea who he is or the situation on both sides.

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  5. This article is extremely bias, why wouldn’t they just get the cameras or witnesses from where they left from to confirm who’s driving.

    “Chon stuck to her original story, that she was not driving. Her story never changed.”

    She admitted at the scene to police that she drove the car & admitted no one drives her car. So how did her story never change, you mean her story changed after she was charged & admitting to driving.

    Correct?

    .

      1. Why wouldn’t they both be charged? They were both so blacked out they didn’t remember who was driving and now trying to pin it against each other? They both decided to get into the car… who cares who was driving. This is an extremely biased news article

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        1. Seems you missed the main point. It says the girl sustained a severe head injury (makes sense when you see the picture of impact on passenger side). The way I read it, she was disoriented from the bash to her head and unable to defend herself at the scene. The boy was was drunk, but he was talking, not blacked out. Simply recognized the injured state of his girlfriend and lied to save his butt. This is deplorable. He needs to be held accountable. Since there is no follow up to the story, I assume he has not yet been charged? What the hell is going on at the DA’s office?

          1. Joe, just curious do you know how severe the injuries were that Eli sustained? If you don’t then your comment is deplorable!

      2. And who’s to say the defense didn’t “accidentally” mixup the airbags?

        And I agree the article is extremely biased towards Chon. There’s also no mention of her having a fake ID and let’s be honest she did change her story.

        The fact that the article makes Eli out to be the bad guy is wrong and there’s no mention of the severity of his injuries. In most drunk driving accidents the passenger is the one that dies or has the more sever injuries than the driver. Does anyone know how severe Eli’s injuries were???

        Two underage college kids made a big mistake and are both very lucky to be alive.

    1. Charles: I think you have misread some important points in this article. A main point in the article is that Chon did NOT admit to driving. The only “admission” from this girl, who was just in a traumatic crash and is sitting on the ground with a severe head injury, she made what was perceived to be a nod to some strangers that walked up and started talking at her. Don’t you see that she never gave a “story” at the scene? The only “story” came from the actual, and PROVEN, driver who gave false testimony at the scene.

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