Witnesses testify about Champaign shooting death

Witnesses testify about Champaign shooting death

URBANA — Shots being fired by one group of men at another group in a Champaign neighborhood on July 4, 2012, led to the death of a Champaign woman who was caught in the crossfire.

A Champaign County jury this week is being asked to decide if Treshaun Jake, 20, whose last known address was in Danville, is responsible for the first-degree murder of Desirae Austin, 20, of Champaign.

Jurors heard on Tuesday that there was a large group of people congregated at the intersection of Thornton Drive and Cruising Lane in the Garden Hills subdivision after the fireworks had finished at Parkland College.

Brothers Johnnie Campbell, 21, and Rajon Campbell, 24, both testified that they saw Jake take his shirt off as if he were going to fight them that night but then saw him with a handgun. They turned to walk away and heard shots being fired in the air then dove behind a nearby van to take cover until the shooting stopped.

That's when they saw Mrs. Austin on the ground. She had been shot once in the chest.

Another witness, Tiffany Dishman of Champaign, said as she rendered aid to Mrs. Austin, co-defendant Anthony L. Meads, 21, of Champaign, ran up to her and another woman near Mrs. Austin with a shotgun in his hand and asked, "Where's those (racial epithet) at?"

Meads was convicted by a jury in May and sentenced in August to 50 years in prison. Prosecutors theorize Jake fired the shot that killed Mrs. Austin.

Jake is being represented by Urbana attorneys Harvey Welch and Alfred Ivy. Assistant State's Attorney Lindsey Clark is prosecuting.

The trial before Judge Tom Difanis is expected to conclude later this week.

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