All Courts Police and Fire Content

Boy died of smoke inhalation

CHAMPAIGN – An autopsy done on a toddler who died in a house fire in Champaign Monday showed he died of smoke inhalation.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said a pathologist Wednesday found soot in the lungs of Demetrius Lenard, 3, of 1313 Hedge Road.


Man shoots himself in leg, then is arrested

URBANA – A man was arrested for robbery as he was released Tuesday from a hospital where he was treated for a gunshot wound after shooting himself, according to Urbana police.

Bruce Jarrett, 19, who listed an address in the 1800 block of South Cottage Grove Avenue, Urbana, was arrested for armed robbery and other charges, according to Sgt. Bryant Seraphin.


Three-year-old dies in Champaign fire

CHAMPAIGN – A 3-year-old Champaign boy died Monday evening in a fire at 1313 Hedge Road, Champaign, a residential neighborhood directly north of Kraft Foods.

Champaign Fire Deputy Chief Tim Wild said the child was found in a closet in a bedroom of the single-story home. His mother and two siblings escaped the fire that heavily damaged the home.


Car used in man's kidnapping seized

URBANA – A car used in the kidnapping of a local restaurant chain owner has been seized by investigators.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rick Cox, arguing for the detention of Adrian Lopez, 32, said at a hearing Thursday in federal court in Urbana that authorities executed a search warrant and seized a car used by Lopez in the kidnapping of Antonio Aguas.


Technology helps METCAD track cell calls

URBANA – Emergency calls on cell phones are now being tracked more precisely by 911 dispatchers in Champaign County.

Greg Abbott, 911 coordinator for the Metropolitan Computer-aided Dispatch service, said the agency handles all wireless calls in the county.


Kidnapping ordeal has happy ending

CHAMPAIGN – Antonio Aguas stood silently with his brother, Ramiro Aguas, surrounded by Champaign police, FBI agents and a federal prosecutor at the Champaign Police Department on Monday.

That's quite a contrast to where he had been the past week.

Authorities said Monday that Antonio Aguas, 43, was kidnapped at gunpoint and held for more than $250,000 ransom. The demands were made to Ramiro Aguas, 44, over a series of phone calls from locations across Illinois and into Indiana.


Five years later, family still hoping for break

Five years after the death of a 59-year-old Champaign woman, sheriff's investigators are looking for an unidentified man who is linked to other crimes, and family members are looking for justice.

Linda Smith was found dead in her burning home at 302 Paul Ave. in Wilbur Heights by volunteers for the Eastern Prairie Fire Protection District the morning of Sept. 22, 2001.


Jury awards CX Roberson driver $314,452

URBANA – A Champaign County jury has awarded a former contract driver for CX Roberson $314,452 in his civil suit against the trucking company.

Obed Calderon was awarded $14,452 in actual damages, $50,000 for emotional distress and $250,000 in punitive damages in the verdict handed down Tuesday.


Jury acquits teen of murder

URBANA – Phillip Harris admitted that he repeatedly beat a Parkland College police officer in the head so his friend could stab him and told police that he hoped he would die for what he had done.

His mother, Sherry Harris, said her 17-year-old was prepared to hear the worst.


Judge doesn't allow two witnesses in Urbana murder trial

URBANA – Defense attorneys for accused murderer Phillip Harris rested their case Wednesday afternoon in Champaign County Circuit Court without calling any witnesses on his behalf – but not for lack of trying.

Champaign attorneys Ed Piraino and Walter Ding wanted to have co-defendants Paul McLaughlin and C.J. Tucker testify that they have already pleaded guilty for their roles in the Aug. 4, 2005, murder of Peter McLaughlin.