900 Pomona

Our motto at Guns Save Life is "We defend your right to defend yourself."  Our advocacy isn't just talk, or limited to the internet.  We don't just talk the talk, we walk the walk.  Along those lines, Guns Save Life has been assisting with the defense of a Champaign man that we saw as wrongfully prosecuted for a righteous shooting in the 900 block of Pomona Drive back in September 2017.  Last night, a jury came back with a NOT GUILTY finding in the case, 18 months after the incident.

Thomas Alva, 44, a Marine Corps veteran who proudly served his nation for 16 years before receiving a medical discharge, came to us with his story of shooting a belligerent woman.  We looked into it, and hearing his account and balancing that with the evidence, we believed it a righteous use of deadly force.

Of course, Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Reitz, a hard-core leftist Democrat, doesn't have a lot of warm feelings towards law-abiding good guys with guns using them in self-defense.  Particularly against so-called "unarmed" attackers.  So Reitz sought to put Mr. Alva into prison for a long prison term. 

Yes, the same hack prosecutor who agrees to a sweet-heart plea bargain deal for a few months of "boot camp" to violent young felonious gang banger wanted to put a man who served our nation honorably away in prison for about as many years for a justifiable use of deadly force.

Yes, Julia's sweetheart deal for the ne'er-do-well Robbie Patton ended up costing an innocent nursing school graduate his life barely two days before he started his new job.  See, it all began in 2014ish when Robbie Patton tried to shoot and kill another human being at the Steak N Shake on North Prospect Avenue.  Why?  Because someone supposedly "disrespected" one of Robbie's friends.  Then, fleeing in a stolen car, he led the Illinois State Police on a high speed chase, eluding capture (temporarily).  

Robbie Patton
Robbie Patton. Career scumbag.

Julia Reitz, who says we should celebrate alternatives to incarceration, signed off on Judge Tom Difanis to send this violent predator to boot camp instead of serving time life in prison. 

We wrote about this before:

…And sure enough, after serving 8 months and change in prison on an 8-year sentence, Robbie Patton, the "Steak 'n Shake Shooter" was released.

He wasn't out two days when he got arrested again, mixed up with drugs and who knows what else.

Not even two weeks later, he's illegally got a gun.  He gets "dissed" again and what happens?  He starts shooting, wounding three.  Another woman gets struck by a car as she tried to flee the scene.  And George Korchev.  Remember that name, Judge Difanis.  George Korchev.  The was set to start his new job as a registered nurse at a hospital in Libertyville.

George Korchev was set to start a life as a productive citizen, helping to save lives.  He would have gotten married, had kids and raised a productive family.  George would have given his parents grandchildren.  He would have lived probably sixty more years, contributing positive energy to making our world a better place. 

You took that all away from him by giving Robbie Patton, a sociopathic predator who will never contribute anything but sewage and sadness to our society, a way to get out of prison early. 

Yeah, Julia Reitz set all that up with her sweetheart plea deal for Robbie Patton – the guy with the "TOTAL LOSER" tattooed over his eyebrows.  Throw away charges for felon with a gun, the stolen car, the police chase, the attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, no FOID card, no CCW license, etc for a simple charge of discharge of a firearm at an occupied vehicle.  (Hell why not make it "disorderly conduct" Julia?)   

But in this case, little Miss "Diversions from prison should be celebrated" wanted her pound flesh from an honorable veteran and upstanding citizen.  

So Guns Save Life became involved.  We provided a pair of expert witnesses from GSL Defense Training to testify at Alva's trial.  Attorney and firearms instructor Steve Davis and retired FBI Special Agent Frank Wright both testified for the defense, educating the jury on the judicious use of deadly force, reactionary gap considerations and a whole lot more.   Both of the GSL Defense Training instructors captivated the jury with their education on the finer points of law and self-defense.

In the end, the jury didn't buy the Champaign County State's Attorney supporting a so-called victim with major credibility issues.  And a prosecutor who said, "Did he reasonably fear imminent death? Was great bodily harm going to come to him right then and there? Not a chance!  This is not how you act in a townhome near a college. You don't shoot someone who exchanges words with you."

But that's not exactly how it went down.  In fact, that's just make-believe.

The woman, Christina Newman (now Christina Newman-Granadino) became agitated over Alva's request to quiet down and move her car out of his parking place.  Instead of acting like a decent human being and complying with his reasonable and polite request, she directed harsh profanity towards  Mr. Alva and threatened to get her gun to settle the matter right then and there.  

(That's a clue right there!)

At that point, she went into the car and rooted around for some time before stuffing something into her waistband. 

(Over at the FBI Academy, they call that another clue!)

Mr. Alva, who walks with a cane, said he couldn't have safely hoped to retreat back into his residence in time, so he instead drew his pistol.  

Little (or not so) Christina came out of the car with a hand behind her waist, still shouting threats and profanity.  She then advanced on a drawn gun, while continuing to hurl invectives. 

(Hello!  The "CLUE" sign is flashing red!)

Sound reasonable and rational?  It wasn't.  But then again, she was drunk. (Go figure, right?)

She continued her advance, blading her body to conceal what she had her hand on behind her waist.  Bang.  Alva fired a warning shot over her shoulder as he'd been trained to do in the Marines.  (Yes, I have a real gun and real bullets and it works!) 

Even after Mr. Alva fired a warning shot, the potty-mouthed Christina Newman continued advancing whereupon she earned a round in the gut.  

"I wasn't trying to kill her. I was trying to stop her advancement," Alva told the jury.

Cops showed up and Ms. Newman claimed that she hadn't been drinking and than Alva had poked and prodded her for no good reason.  And then, he shot her.  Again, for no good reason.  Oh yeah, and there was the issue of the knife cops found that Newman claims she didn't have.

At the hospital, she continued to tell medical folks she hadn't been drinking.  However, when the anesthesiologist explained the facts of life (and death on an O.R. table) to her, she admitted she had been drinking.  Imagine that.


Earlier this year, she filed suit against Alva.  Given the acquittal in the criminal case, her hopes of hitting the dubious lawsuit lottery probably just took a nosedive.  In fact, she might face a civil suit herself in the coming months.  Time will tell.

Anyway, the News-Gazette has buried the story in their online version.  However, a search found it.

Jury acquits Champaign man who shot woman outside his apartment


URBANA — A Champaign County jury has acquitted a man who shot a woman outside his apartment in 2017, accepting his explanation that he thought she was going to shoot him first.

A jury deliberated about 7 1/2 hours before acquitting Alva Thomas, 44, of aggravated battery with a firearm and reckless discharge of a firearm in connection with a confrontation he had with a woman outside his home in the 900 block of Pomona Drive about 3 a.m. on Sept. 16, 2017.

Although assistant state's attorneys Lindsey Clark and Chris McCallum and defense attorney Matt Lee of Champaign called several witnesses in their respective cases, the 26-year-old victim and Thomas were the key witnesses.

The woman's account

The woman said she was standing next to her car arguing with another woman about a mutual friend who was also present in the lot but not directly involved in their exchange.

She became aware of someone "poking" her in the shoulder, neck and head, telling her loudly and in coarse terms to leave.

"I flailed my arm to brush him off while I was standing on the door frame of my car," she said.

She said she then loudly cursed at the man, identified as Thomas.

"I stepped down and when I turned around, he was holding a black gun with both hands. He was still yelling, telling me to get the (expletive) out. He shot in the air," she said, describing him as "very close."

She said she did nothing to provoke Thomas before he fired a second time several seconds later as she stood there with her cellphone in hand.

"I was shot. After I realized I couldn't move, I sat down. That's when the defendant approached me," said the woman, who had been shot in the abdomen. "He told me he was a paramedic. I could not physically move my legs."

She testified she had parts of her intestines and colon resected and still has the bullet lodged in her hip area.

After being shot, she said she took her cellphone from her hand, removed the battery and threw the pieces under her car tire.

Thomas remained nearby as she lay on the ground waiting for help. She said she never told Thomas she had a gun and never displayed a knife that she said she kept in her waistband.

Police learned that the woman, who is licensed to carry a gun, did not have one that night. She did have a pocketknife, which she said was never open.

On cross-examination by defense attorney Matt Lee of Champaign, the woman called Thomas' actions "crazy."

"He said, 'You don't live here. Get the (expletive) out of here,'" she said.

The woman denied that after Thomas fired the first shot in the air, she said: "I'm not scared of your gun." She announced she was going to call police and said he responded by saying, "You ain't calling (expletive)."

Keep in mind how the News-Gazette completely failed to report on how the defense utterly shredded the credibility of the prosecution's "star" witness, Christina Newman.  Along with her friends.  Their make-believe stories conflicted with one another and had zero physical evidence to support them.

In fact, all of the evidence supported Mr. Alva's recollection of events.  Go figure.

And a jury agreed.

Click on over to read their reporting of Alva's version of the events.  


The Democrat Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Reitz has no love for good guy gun owners.

Get yourself some concealed carry insurance.  Because you don't want to have to spend $50,000-100,000 on criminal defense legal fees if life gives you a crap sandwich and you have to take a bite.

Avoid confronting intoxicated idiots because you may get more than you bargained.

And plenty more…

5 thoughts on “NOT GUILTY! Thomas Alva found NOT GUILTY in late-night shooting in Champaign, IL”
  1. Was he able to make bail or was he stuck in jail the whole time?

    Thanks to GSL and their team!

  2. He made bail early on.

    he should have asked the judge for an order to isp to restore his FOID card.  And to get his gun from evidence.

  3. ASA Clark, "Did he reasonably fear imminent death? Was great bodily harm going to come to him right then and there? Not a chance," she said. Ha! Such sureness from someone who wasn't there, in the moment, right then and there.

    Juries are generally twelve  "fully functioning bullshit detectors" as Massad Ayoob says and this jury detected bullshit and concluded themselves  that a reasonable and prudent person WOULD HAVE feared imminent death or great bodily harm upon themself based on the vocalized deadly force threat and the furtive movements of a drunken belligerent stranger at 2:30 in the morning. Was furtive movement introduced by defense?

    The interesting similarity of this prosecution with the Galva/Knox county prosecution of Mr. Love I notice is that both involved warning shots by the defendant. It seems like the warning shots may have provided some impetus to these SA's in forming their narratives of guilt prompting them to move forward with prosecution in that if a person who thought that death or great bodily harm was imminent why then fire a warning shot? Why not just target the deadly force threat? At any rate, their narratives failed to persuade both juries and good for Mr. Thomas and Mr. Love.

    Another similarity I notice: both chose to leave the safety of their homes to confront the unknown in the dark of night alone when they really didn’t have to.

    Congrats to GSL and the entire defense team.

  4. I am not sure what uneducated person has written this but clearly you are very uninformed. I personally witnessed the whole  trial and all testimonies involving the Alva Thomas case and regardless of whatever Alva has done for the country person that's what everyone is stuck on he shot a unarmed person. Also he had a cane AFTER the shooting, for a knee replacement that he had in February of 2019. I am all for guns as a person with guns in my home and growing up with them, guns are harmless. BUT Alva clearly is not harmless and is a threat to this community. Also the person who was shot was not the loud drunk, if you knew anything the victim of the shooting had her blood alcohol level taken and she was not intoxicated. I hope that you further educate yourself on situations before speaking on them. I will continue praying that innocent people are protected by people like Alva and people like you who assume things. 


      I am sorry but you are wrong and should educate yourself on ILCS statutes and self-defense law.  Unarmed people that tell you they have a gun that they will use against you is by law considered a deadly force threat. It’s the same if a robber enters a store with their hand in their pocket finger extended to imitate pointing a gun at you while announcing a hold up. The store owner doesn’t know the robber is actually unarmed. The robber is indicating he has a gun thereby presenting a deadly force threat to the store owner and the store owner is allowed by law to use deadly force against the reasonably perceived deadly force threat.

      The law allows as a reasonable fear justifying a lawful self-defense use of deadly force that if a person tells you they have a gun and imply that they will use that weapon against you and then they make movements consistent with holding or reaching for the gun that they just told you they had that you then are allowed to defend yourself against that perceived deadly force threat with deadly use of force. The law is clear. You don’t have to wait to see the gun the offender just told you they were holding or getting to use against you because by the time you see it you will see what comes out of it.

      This is the Defense of person law. It’s all based on the five elements of self-defense required to a justifiable use of force. You think you know or understand the law but it’s obvious you do not.

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