Jury acquits Urbana man in weapons case
URBANA — A Champaign County jury Wednesday acquitted an Urbana man of unlawful use of weapons by a felon.
The state had initially charged Aaron Jamerson, 21, with being an armed habitual criminal about a year ago, but Assistant State's Attorney Troy Lozar said he dismissed that charge in April because it was inappropriately filed and proceeded on the less serious weapons violation.
The case began Tuesday before Judge Tom Difanis.
The charges stemmed from a July 30, 2011, incident that happened near the intersection of Goodwin Avenue and Eads Street about 4:15 a.m. A man who refused to cooperate with police and could not be located to testify at trial was found shot in the leg there. Police also found a .380-caliber handgun and casings for it, Lozar said.
Less than two hours later, police were called to a home in the 1300 block of Beslin Street, where they found Jamerson shot in the leg and back. He also did not want to cooperate with police, Lozar said.
In the investigation, Urbana police learned that the wounded Jamerson had first been at a home in the 1200 block of Beslin Street. There they found a bloody white T-shirt and red shorts, the same type of clothing that witnesses said one of the shooters at Eads and Goodwin was wearing. In the pocket of the shorts was a .380-caliber cartridge, Lozar said.
Jamerson said he asked the people living there, who he knew, to take him to his grandmother's home in the 1300 block of Beslin. He testified he didn't know why he asked to be taken there instead of to the hospital.
Jamerson said he was in the hospital about 12 days following the shooting for wounds to his back and leg and that he lost a kidney as a result.
Urbana police investigator Duane Maxey testified that Jamerson, when interviewed on Aug. 1, told him that he had a gun for protection from another man.
At trial, Jamerson testified he was at a party on Eads Street that morning and was talking to a woman when he was jumped by several men who were going through his pockets. He maintained he did not have a gun.
Lozar had lodged the unlawful use of weapons by a felon charge against Jamerson based on his prior convictions for delivery of a controlled substance, aggravated battery to a peace officer, and resisting a peace officer.
Jamerson was represented by Urbana attorney Alfred Ivy.