Man pleads innocent to involuntary manslaughter charge
URBANA — A Champaign man is being held at the Champaign County Jail on $100,000 bond in connection with the fatal shooting of an Indiana woman early Friday morning at a Champaign motel.
Antonio Lawan Brown, 20, who listed an address in the 1300 block of Paula Drive, Champaign, pleaded innocent on Monday to one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of felony possession or use of a firearm by a felon.
Judge Richard Klaus set Brown’s next court appearance for March 5.
Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup said that Sydni Kay Blackwell, 20, of Williamsport, Ind., was pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m. Friday at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.
According to a police report, Brown accidentally shot Ms. Blackwell, his girlfriend, at the Super 8 Motel, 202 W. Marketview Drive, Champaign, at 3:01 a.m. Friday.
The report said that both Brown and Ms. Blackwell told police that Brown improperly handled a gun, causing it to accidentally discharge a round and wound Ms. Blackwell.
Brown took Ms. Blackwell to the hospital so she could be treated for the gunshot wound.
Dunn said police arrested Brown after recovering the gun that had been used in the shooting.
Northrup said on Monday evening that an autopsy conducted on Saturday determined that Ms. Blackwell died from a gunshot wound.
Northrup said an inquest may be held at a later date.
The death is being investigated by Northrup’s office and the Champaign Police Department.