Alleged attacker, apparent intended victim both arrested

Alleged attacker, apparent intended victim both arrested

RANTOUL — A Rantoul man who allegedly intended to rob another has been criminally charged while his intended victim was also charged for allegedly having drugs in his home.

Matthew E. Conley, 31, who listed addresses in Sibley and in the 1200 block of Falcon Drive, was charged Wednesday in Champaign County Circuit Court with unlawful use of weapons by a felon, theft, and aggravated assault in connection with an early morning incident in Rantoul on Tuesday.

Rantoul police Sgt. Sean Arie said about 1:10 a.m., Conley went to a home in the 1100 block of Falcon Drive, armed with a rifle, intending to rob John D. Parker, 23.

Arie said Conley knocked on the door while holding a rifle covered in a sheet. He then told Parker, 23, to "give it up."

State's Attorney Julia Rietz said Parker and his brother were able to wrestle the rifle away from Conley and get him outside the apartment, where they held him until police arrived.

Rietz said police went in the apartment and recovered the rifle, which they learned had been stolen from a Paxton man's home on Sunday. They also found a bag of suspected crack cocaine in plain view in Parker's apartment and scales, she said.

Rietz said a witness in the apartment — there were four others besides Parker present — told police that Conley had contacted Parker earlier to arrange a drug purchase and that he pulled the rifle on Parker when Parker opened the door.

Conley was charged Wednesday with unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, theft for possessing an allegedly stolen rifle, and aggravated assault for allegedly threatening Parker. Because of a prior felony theft conviction, Conley faces penalties ranging from probation to two to 10 years in prison if convicted of the weapons or theft charges.

Parker was charged with possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance.

Both men were told to be back in court Jan. 29.

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