Man makes first court appearance in attempted-murder case
URBANA — A Champaign man accused of shooting his estranged wife is due back in court Jan. 4 with his own attorney.
Mikal Washington, 33, of the 1000 block of West Church Street, made his first court appearance Friday to answer to charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm lodged against him a week ago. He told Judge Richard Klaus he wanted time to hire his own attorney.
Washington is accused on shooting Femi Fletcher-Washington, 31, of Urbana several times in the right side as she drove him in a car on Dec. 9.
The shooting happened about 9:15 p.m. as Fletcher-Washington was driving Washington west in the 900 block of Church Street. From the passenger seat, he apparently opened fire on her without warning, according to Assistant State's Attorney Steve Ziegler. The car then left the road and came to rest against a house in that same block.
Washington ran from the car and was found in the basement of his apartment building, where he apparently stabbed himself. Because he was unwilling to cooperate with police, Champaign officers summoned a University of Illinois police officer with a Taser to incapacitate Washington so he could be taken into custody.
He was released from the hospital Thursday and taken directly to jail, where he remains in lieu of $2.5 million bond. If convicted of the Class X felonies, he faces between six and 30 years in prison.
State's Attorney Julia Rietz said Fletcher-Washington is expected to recover from her wounds.