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.

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ilpatriot wrote on December 22, 2012 at 1:12 am

I still don't see any charges for possesion of a firearm by a felon. Convicted in 1999 of

Count Description
1 DOMESTIC BTRY/BODILY HARM PRI/ against the same woman
who went on to marry him. Go figure. Maybe the Feds will pick it up.

The Gun Control Act (GCA) makes it unlawful for certain categories of persons to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms. 18 USC 922(g). Transfers of firearms to any such prohibited persons are also unlawful. 18 USC 922(d).

who has been convicted of a misdemeanor (or felony) crime of domestic violence (enacted by the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, Pub. L. No. 104-208, effective September 30, 1996). 18 USC 922(g) and (n).

rsp wrote on December 22, 2012 at 8:12 pm

What would be the point? He's charged with attempted murder. It wouldn't add to his sentence or his time. But it would waste court time talking about it and then dropping it.