Detective: Now-dead victim identified Fenn in earlier incident
URBANA — An Urbana police detective said Curtis Mosley identified Ardis Fenn as the man who threatened him with a shotgun as another man patted him down last spring outside the Urbana business where Mr. Mosley worked.
Investigator Matt Rivers said Mr. Mosley told him that he flipped up a picnic table that was between him and Fenn and took off running, only to realize seconds later that he had been shot in the leg and buttocks.
Fenn, 23, of the 700 block of East Main Street, Urbana, is being tried this week for aggravated battery with a firearm for allegedly shooting Mr. Mosley, 29, of Urbana, on June 12 in a robbery attempt outside the Above & Beyond Detailing, 708 E. Main St., U.
Mr. Mosley worked at the business. Fenn had formerly worked there and lived next door.
Just last Monday, Feb. 4, Mr. Mosley was fatally shot on the eve of Fenn's trial in what police believe was an ambush by Fenn on Mr. Mosley in his Urbana apartment.
Although Fenn has not been charged with Mr. Mosley's murder, two women who were seated feet from Mr. Mosley identified Fenn as his killer. The women said he was killed an hour after he had rejected a bribe offered him by Fenn, through another man, not to testify against Fenn.
The jury hearing Fenn's case this week has heard only that Mr. Mosley died between the June shooting and this month, but none of the circumstances of his death. Last week's Fenn jury was dismissed after three jurors told Judge Tom Difanis they had heard news reports of Mr. Mosley's death.
The outcome of Fenn's trial, expected to go to the jury Thursday morning, will determine how quickly the state has to move to charge him with murder.
If he's convicted of the June shooting, Difanis will likely order that he continue to be held on the $10 million bond that Difanis set last week when Fenn failed to appear for trial after Mr. Mosley's death. After two days at large, Fenn turned himself in.
Should he be acquitted, the state could file the murder charges instantly, starting in motion the 120 days they would have to get him to trial on the murder case.
On Wednesday, Rivers was the last of 15 witnesses called by Assistant State's Attorney Steve Ziegler in his case against Fenn.
Several police officers testified about evidence they found at the shooting scene: bullets from a .22-calber rifle, a trail of blood between the car detailing business and the nearby Auto Zone to the west where Mr. Mosley ran after he was shot, and two bags of cannabis in a bush near where Mr. Mosley was found in the Auto Zone lot.
Officers also testified about finding, the day after the shooting, the barrel of a .22-caliber rifle in the trunk of a car at the home of Fenn's girlfriend in the 700 block of East Park Street in Urbana. The stock and trigger mechanism were missing. Laboratory tests on the rifle were inconclusive as to whether a bullet that came from Mr. Mosley was fired from that gun.
Another eyewitness to the June 12 shooting, Tommy Lee Jackson, testified that Fenn had a .22-caliber rifle and that he was the person who fired at Mr. Mosley.
Rivers said Mr. Mosley also identified Gabriel Chaney from a photo lineup as the man with Fenn who was patting him down.
Chaney, 19, is also charged with aggravated battery with a firearm under a theory of accountability. He remains in the county jail and is due back in court March 12.
Witnesses said Chaney was the man who drove Fenn away from the June 12 shooting right after it happened. Chaney turned himself in that night. Fenn was arrested the next day in Champaign.
The only defense witness called by Assistant Public Defender Stephanie Corum was Fenn's sister, Takita Fenn, who lived with her brother and their grandmother next door to the car detailing business.
She said Mr. Mosley had tried to sell her cannabis that day and that she left after his offer. She also testified that she had seen a long gun in Chaney's car while it was parked in the alley behind their home and that she heard gunshots while she was showering and saw Mr. Mosley and Jackson running toward Main Street.