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Justice? Slap on wrist negotiated in Urbana, IL homicide case

November 8, 2012

Warning:  Cynicism and sarcasm is dialed up here as we’re in stunned disbelief.  If you want to give us a piece of your mind, the address is GunNews at gmail.com.

An Urbana officer leaves the home at the scene of a reported shooting at 905 E. Pennsylvania Ave., U, on Wednesday, May 16, 2012. Photo and caption by the News-Gazette.

 

Slap on wrist negotiated in homicide case

News came in today regarding the May 2012 homicide case involving a 3-year-old toddler in Urbana.  It seems one of the young men responsible for the death of the child negotiated a stunning plea bargain, assuring nothing more than a slap on the wrist for himself from local prosecutors.

The incident this summer led the Urbana Assemblies of God Church – now known as the Stonecreek Church (to sound a little  more upscale thanks to the nearby Urbana Stonecreek Golf Course) – to host a gun buyback in Champaign County this past fall.  The buyback was by and large a huge failure for the church as they failed to garner but 26% of the guns they were expecting. Those looking to turn in guns were also met with less than courteous – and ethical – clergy.

Dequan D. Fenderson, 17, pled guilty today to charges related to a stolen handgun later used by another teen to kill a 3-year-old in Urbana.

Dequan, who was then and remains today on probation for an aggravated battery case he picked up in juvenile court, likes to play with guns and drugs.  But don’t worry, he won’t get his probation revoked as part of this plea bargain.

You read that last sentence right.  No probation revocations.

As an added bonus, State’s Attorney Julia Reitz’s office is dropping an additional drug charge (crack cocaine) on this same young man.

The deal accepted:  Drugs dropped, no probation revocations and probation to three years in prison (three years, in Illinois prison-time, is about three to six months).

You want his attorney’s name and phone number in case you get in trouble with the police, don’t you?  We do.

So what happened, you ask?

The story goes something like this:   Dequan’s mom (or the mom of the other alleged star of this tragedy, Lloyd Mosley – or maybe it was the same momma, we don’t know) was “dating” a drug dealer in Rantoul and young Dequan came upon the little .25 caliber pistol there at Mr. Dope Dealer’s abode.

Dequan brought the gun home and stashed it in his room.

On the day this tragedy played out, the room was occupied by Dequan, a completely innocent three-year-old toddler named Mekhi, and a now 15-year-old Lloyd Mosley.  While the gun was played with by the two teens, at some point young Lloyd thought it would be a good idea to scare the 3-year-old by pointing the gun at his face at point-blank range, and pulling the trigger.

The completely innocent victim, Mekhi Woods.

BLAM!

After the shooting, Lloyd spun his story to say that he was teaching a gun safety lesson to the toddler and had no idea that they gun was loaded or would go off when he pulled the trigger.

We’ll let the News-Gazette pick up the story from about when the gun was fired by the aspiring gun safety instructor:

Fenderson ran from the house after the shooting. The distraught Mosley remained there, carrying the mortally wounded boy out of the house and putting him into the arms of another girl in the neighborhood. Police got Mekhi from the girl, then had to persuade Mosley to put the gun down and not harm himself.

In his initial statement to Urbana police, Mosley didn’t mention that Fenderson had been present. Later, he told police that Fenderson was there and that Fenderson had removed the clip from the gun thinking that would make it safe. However, neither Mosley nor Fenderson had accounted for the round left in the chamber.

Fenderson came to the Urbana police department later on the day of the shooting to be interviewed and told police he had no idea where the gun had come from. Police obtained Mosley’s cell phone from Fenderson. They analyzed it and found pictures of Fenderson holding a gun that appeared to be the same gun used to kill Mekhi to a girl’s head.

Also in the room where Mekhi was shot, police found a pair of jeans that were Fenderson’s size that had under a gram of crack cocaine in the pocket.

What happened to Mr. Lloyd Mosley, the admitted triggerman and aspiring gun safety instructor?

Mosley has been charged as an adult with involuntary manslaughter and possession of weapons in connection with the death of his nephew, but his case before Judge Heidi Ladd was recently continued to Jan. 3 while he continues to receive residential treatment for substance abuse and emotional issues.

The entire story makes us feel a host of emotions.

All we know is that Judge Heidi Ladd has a reputation as not being a kindler, gentler judge when it comes to violent crime.

She threw the book at some home invaders so hard that it got the attention of folks as far away as Chicago a few short years ago.

Man gets 75 years for role in St. Joseph home invasion

Tue, 03/03/2009 – 10:56am

URBANA (News-Gazette) – Robert and Diane Rigdon have struggled not to let an attack by four men in their St. Joseph home almost a year ago change them. But they told a judge Monday the ordeal shook their ability to ever feel comfortable in their own home, business or skin again.

“The worry never ends. I have had nightmares, flashbacks and fear is constant,” Robert Rigdon, 71, wrote in his victim impact statement, considered by Champaign County Judge Heidi Ladd on Monday before she sentenced Jamal Williams to 75 years in prison for home invasion, armed robbery and residential burglary for the May 1, 2008, attack on the Rigdons.

Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Ziegler asked for the maximum 90 years for the 20-year-old from Chicago who came to Urbana while on probation for a weapons conviction in Cook County to attend Parkland College.

Co-defendant Nazeer Smith, 21, of Chicago, pleaded guilty to one count of home invasion and is set to be sentenced March 30. Isiah Evans, 20, of Champaign, and Chad Todd, 21, of Urbana, both testified against Williams, implicating themselves. They still face charges of home invasion, armed robbery and residential burglary. Both said they hoped to receive reduced sentences for their testimony.