Urbana man acquitted of murder charged with holdup try
URBANA — An Urbana man who was acquitted in March of the murder of his stepfather is back in jail after being arrested for the attempted armed robbery of an Urbana store earlier this month.
Tyrone Franklin, 20, who listed an address in the 2400 block of East Oregon Street, asked for more time to hire an attorney after he was charged on Friday with attempted armed robbery, burglary and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.
Franklin's bond was set for $150,000. His next court appearance was set for Sept. 28.
According to an Urbana police report, two men entered the Family Dollar, 1110 S. Philo Road, at 8:30 p.m. Sept. 6.
One man, whom police identified as Franklin, pointed a gun at the clerk and said, "Open up the register. Give me the money."
The second man had his shirt pulled up over his face.
The clerk responded, "Do we have to do it?" and then turned around and walked toward the back of the store. The clerk was not injured.
Other clerks in the store reported hearing banging noises as if someone was trying to open the cash register but was failing to do so.
The two men then left the store.
When police looked at the surveillance video of the attempted robbery, they identified the gunman as Franklin.
Franklin had been acquitted in March of first-degree murder in the death of James Ellis inside a garage that had been turned into living quarters at a house in the 1900 block of Joanne Lane, Champaign, on Dec. 19, 2008.
Mr. Ellis, 34, had been married to Franklin's mother.
Then on Thursday, Urbana police took part in a countywide sweep targeting people who had outstanding warrants for their arrests.
During the sweep, police went to Franklin's home, where they arrested him at 3:14 p.m. Thursday.
Police took him to the Urbana Police Department and interviewed him. They showed Franklin some photos from the surveillance video, but Franklin said it wasn't him.
Overall, police arrested 19 people on Thursday as part of the countywide sweep.
Champaign police spokeswoman Rene Dunn said Champaign police, with the help of the U.S. Marshal's Service, organized a sweep targeting people with outstanding arrest warrants throughout Champaign County, especially in areas that police identified as "hot spots" for violent crime or calls for service.
Other participating agencies included the Champaign County sheriff's office, Champaign County Probation Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, state police and University of Illinois and Urbana police.
"Both the city of Urbana and the city of Champaign have experienced shootings and/or homicides, and police officers are responding to reports of shots heard, or encountering individuals in possession of firearms with increasing frequency," Dunn said in a written release. "In addition, a substantial number of criminals within the area are currently wanted by local police departments and/or have outstanding arrest warrants. This is problematic for our communities, as these individuals often continue to commit crime and victimize residents in our communities."