URBANA — A Rantoul man with a history of weapons-related convictions faces up to 30 years in prison when he's sentenced next month.
A Champaign County jury found Corey Lee, 34, who listed an address in the 1500 block of Fairway Drive, guilty of being an armed habitual criminal for having a gun in a Rantoul home on Aug. 3.
Because of prior felony convictions, Lee is not allowed to have a gun. And because of felony convictions for delivery of a controlled substance in 1997 and delivery of cannabis in 2002, he qualified as an armed habitual criminal.
Judge Harry Clem set sentencing for Dec. 30. Lee will have to serve 85 percent of whatever prison term he receives. Champaign attorney Dan Jackson represented Lee.
Assistant State's Attorney Duke Harris said the charge stemmed from Lee's arrest Aug. 4. Police were called on the evening of Aug. 3 when a neighbor reported seeing Lee with a gun and knew he stayed at his girlfriend's home in the 300 block of Marco Drive, Rantoul.
Police went to the Marco Drive address, where they saw two men in the house, including Lee, who was wiping down a gun. Both men, later identified as Lee and Andra Thompson, 32, came out and a Rantoul police officer told them to stop and show their hands.
Both men then ran back in the house and police could hear a round being chambered in the gun, Harris said.
That prompted police to evacuate nearby residences. A hostage negotiator made contact with the men, who eventually came out about 45 minutes to an hour later, Harris said.
Police were unable to find a gun in the house.
Harris said Lee's girlfriend testified that when she returned home from work the next day, after police had searched, she found a hole in drywall next to an air return that hadn't been there when the police were there.
Harris argued that Lee had hidden the gun before police came in, then later had someone get it after they left.
The jury deliberated about 2 1/2 hours before convicting him.
Harris said Lee has two other convictions for unlawful use of weapons and one for attempted armed robbery.
Thompson is charged with obstructing justice because he allegedly gave police a false name at the time of his arrest. He is due back in court in January.