Man faces several charges in gun incident

URBANA — A Champaign man with a 20-year history of convictions in Champaign County has been criminally charged with being an armed habitual criminal.

On Monday, the state's attorney's office charged Kevin P. Pettis, 41, who listed addresses in the 400 block of South State Street and the 200 block of South Prospect Avenue, with that Class X felony as well as charges of reckless discharge of a firearm and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.

The charges stemmed from his arrest Sunday by Champaign police.

Police department spokeswoman Rene Dunn said officers were called to the 200 block of White Oak Court about 3:10 a.m. Sunday. The person who called police told them that she had urged Pettis, whom she knew, to leave the parking lot since he didn't live there. When he refused, they began arguing and she told him she was going to call police.

When she pulled out a cellphone to do that, Pettis began driving away but allegedly held a pistol out the window and fired it into the air. No one was injured, Dunn said.

Officers later found Pettis at his South State Street apartment and arrested him. A court-authorized search of his apartment turned up a loaded handgun and a bulletproof vest.

Court records show Pettis has three prior convictions for aggravated battery since 1992, one for unlawful possession of weapons by a felon, one for misdemeanor battery and one for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

If convicted of the armed habitual criminal charge, the most serious of the charges, he faces six to 30 years in prison.

Pettis remained in the county jail Tuesday in lieu of $150,000 bond. He is due back in court Aug. 27.

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