Uncooperative victim, witnesses bring dismissal of attempted-murder charge

URBANA — A Champaign County prosecutor Friday dismissed attempted murder and other charges against a Champaign man after the victim and witnesses refused to cooperate in the man's prosecution.

Brian J. Ferrell, 27, who listed address on North Walnut Street and East Church Street when he was arrested in October for attempted murder, was released from the county jail late Friday morning, where he had been since his arrest.

"There was a lack of cooperation on behalf of the civilian witnesses and the victim," said Assistant State's Attorney Troy Lozar.

"I tried. I can't tell you how many meetings I've had scheduled that were blown off. They won't talk to me or come in."

Ferrell was arrested Oct. 20 in connection with the Oct. 14 shooting of a 22-year-old Urbana man that happened at the Mobil Super Pantry, 1503 N. Neil St., C. Police learned of the shooting when the victim showed up at Provena Covenant Medical Center.

Ferrell was charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm, and unlawful use of weapons by a felon. Lozar said he had one conversation with the victim at his office earlier this month.

"The police department was kind enough to help him here. Since then, he has not called me or contacted me and I can't get a good phone number for him," he said.

Lozar added that Ferrell's attorney, Jamie Propps of the public defender's office, told him that other witnesses she spoke with had expressed an unwillingness to cooperate with Lozar.

"It's quite apparent, notwithstanding the evidentiary challenges of the trial, that they're not going to cooperate with me. It's a shame because this is a horrible situation but our hands are simply tied when people won't come in and tell the truth," Lozar said.

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cretis16 wrote on January 25, 2013 at 3:01 pm

AH..our beloved citizens.....is it that hard to do the right thing? Felon with a gun walks free....

JoeSchmo wrote on January 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Same citizens who complain the police and states attorney never do anything, right? Bravo.

wayward wrote on January 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Great thinking from the victim!  I mean, it's not like there's any chance that the defendant might try killing him once he's free.

americanproud wrote on January 25, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Brian Jamal Ferrell has 11 criminal cases dating back to 2003 and 1 child support case on cccircuitclerk.com.  He is violent and will be again.  The least we in the community deserve is to know what he looks like, as he could be anywhere now that he's on the streets again.  This is his mugshot:

http://www.bustedmugshots.com/illinois/champaign/brian-jamal-ferrell/449...

This is all public record.

cretis16 wrote on January 26, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Thanks Bricklayer.....for the info on this thug who the police and state's attorney just let loose on all of us. ...but be careful, the CU branch of the sensitivity police might show up for a re-education visit.

alabaster jones 71 wrote on January 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm
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Yep, it's totally their fault that the victim and witnesses refused to cooperate.  They should have just used their magic prosecution powers to convict Mr. Farrell without cooperative witnesses or sufficient evidence.

ilpatriot wrote on January 26, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Here is the link for the arrest in October.  http://www.news-gazette.com/news/courts-police-and-fire/2012-10-22/champ... It does not say if he was caught red handed with the firearm. If he was caught in possesion the only witness they need for that charge is the police. Come on States Attorney and US Attorney help the President out by enfocing these laws we already have.

Here is an excerpt from Project Safe Neighborhoods.

"If you're caught with a gun, you can face harsh penalties in federal prison with no possibility of parole. If you have three or more prior violent felony or serious drug offense convictions, you face a minimum of 15 years in prison without parole."

Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to get gun-wielding criminals off America's streets. In every community, federal, state and local law enforcement are working together to arrest, prosecute and put in prison criminals who illegally use or possess guns.

Under Project Safe Neighborhoods, United States Attorneys are ready to bring cases involving illegal guns to federal court. Prosecution in federal court means that if you are caught using or possessing a gun illegally, you probably won't be entitled to bail - instead, you'll go straight to jail. And if you are convicted in a federal court, you'll serve your entire sentence in prison with no parole.

There are no second chances under this program.

use er name wrote on January 26, 2013 at 9:01 pm

Why haven't the witnesses and "victim" been arrested and charged?

SaintClarence27 wrote on February 06, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Because they haven't committed a crime?