Fenn sentenced to 30 years in shooting; murder charge awaits

URBANA — An Urbana man who shot another man twice last June during a robbery attempt was sentenced Tuesday to the maximum 30 years in prison.

The sentencing hearing for Ardis Fenn, 24, lasted fewer than 10 minutes and was the antithesis of the dramatic events last month surrounding Fenn's trial, including the murder of the man who was Fenn's victim in June.

On Valentine's Day, a jury convicted Fenn of aggravated battery with a firearm for shooting Curtis Mosley, 29, in the leg and buttocks on June 12, outside a car detailing business at 708 E. Main St., U.

"What we had was this defendant arming himself with a firearm in the middle of the day and shooting at two individuals and hitting one of them," said Judge Tom Difanis.

Noting that Mr. Mosley had cannabis and a substantial amount of cash on him at the time, Difanis said it was "apparent that robbery was the motive."

"It was and is an outrageous crime," said the judge, adding that the shooting occurred in a residential neighborhood.

Assistant State's Attorney Steve Ziegler sought the maximum sentence for Fenn, who had two prior convictions for possession of a controlled substance and one for obstructing justice.

"I want to be clear that the state is mindful that we are here to sentence Ardis Fenn for the shooting, not the later killing, of Curtis Mosley," said the prosecutor, who then promised that murder charges will be filed against Fenn when all the evidence surrounding his death is back from the state crime lab.

Ziegler's office has come under fire for not objecting to the release of Fenn on recognizance on Jan. 28.

State's Attorney Julia Rietz said earlier that Ziegler believed he was nearing the end of the allotted time to get Fenn to trial on the charges. She said it was Difanis who let Fenn out of jail when the state asked for a one-week continuance because Ziegler had hurt his back on the eve of trial.

Mr. Mosley was fatally shot at close range on Feb. 4 in an apartment at 1102 E. Colorado Ave., U, as his girlfriend and her mother looked on.

The two women identified Fenn as the shooter and said the shooting came shortly after Mr. Mosley had rejected a bribe from another man, allegedly made on Fenn's behalf, to not testify against Fenn.

Fenn said nothing on his own behalf at Tuesday's sentencing.

His attorney, Assistant Public Defender Stephanie Corum, asked for a 12-year sentence, calling Fenn a young man who is "very self-aware."

She said her client acknowledged to a probation officer that he has a difficult time with family relationships, suffers from depression, and knows he is in need of substance abuse treatment and mental health counseling.

Under truth-in-sentencing, Fenn will have to serve 25 1/2 years in prison. He was given credit for 249 days already served in the county jail.

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rsp wrote on March 26, 2013 at 6:03 pm

Corum, asked for a 12-year sentence, calling Fenn a young man who is "very self-aware."

I think she's confusing that with "very self-centered", in that he thinks the world revolves around him. A robbery in which he intentionally fired a weapon at someone with total disregard for life.

In the future maybe a record of deadlines should be kept within the case files so there isn't all the last minute guessing. Especially when somebody's life could be on the line. 

lawnerd wrote on March 28, 2013 at 1:03 pm

I told you the crime lab excuse was a raft of baloney.