Man sentenced to prison in weapons case

URBANA — A California man with a history of weapons convictions has been sentenced to seven years in prison for his latest.

A Champaign County jury in January convicted J.W. Gayfield, 33, of Inglewood, Calif., of aggravated unlawful use of weapons for having a loaded Ruger in a car and ammunition in his pants pocket in Rantoul on Nov. 2.

Rantoul police stopped the car that Gayfield was driving because it was wanted in connection with the Oct. 19 murder of a woman in Inglewood. Jurors heard only that the car was stopped for speeding, not that the vehicle was wanted for processing in connection with the woman's death.

Since he has been in custody in Champaign County, California authorities obtained a warrant for Gayfield's DNA. A detective in Inglewood said Thursday that no charges have been filed against Gayfield in connection with the October murder and that their investigation continues.

Judge Tom Difanis imposed the seven-year sentence on Gayfield, which was the maximum he could have received.

Court records show he had a 2009 conviction from Los Angeles County for willful discharge of a firearm with gross negligence and possession of a firearm by a felon; a 1998 conviction from Cook County for unlawful use of a weapon by a felon; and 1995 convictions for possession with intent to deliver cocaine and possession of a controlled substance from Cook County.

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