State police send report of Danville shooting to prosecutor
DANVILLE — It could be several weeks before the county's top prosecutor rules on whether a shooting by a Vermilion County sheriff's deputy that injured a rural Danville man was justified.
The Illinois State Police has wrapped up its investigation into the Nov. 21 shooting of 20-year-old Caleb R. Emory at his home, Lt. Greg Lindemulder said.
"The state's attorney's office should have most of our reports now," Lindemulder said.
He declined to release any details, which have been kept tightly under wraps, saying the investigating is still pending.
On Tuesday, State's Attorney Randy Brinegar said he hasn't seen the reports yet. While he hopes to begin his review soon, "I anticipate it will take a while; not months, but several weeks."
"I have to go through every page of the report — which in previous similar cases, has been hundreds of pages — and watch and listen to every recorded statement," said Brinegar, who has reviewed at least two other officer-shooting cases during his time in office. "Then it's my practice to put it down for a couple of days, go over everything I read in my mind, and then go back through it a second time with a fresh set of eyes.
"I don't want to rush," he continued, adding he may have follow-up questions for investigators. "All shootings are very serious matters. And any time there's an officer shooting, I feel I owe it to the public to scrutinize it very carefully."
Deputies were called to a domestic disturbance at Emory's residence at 2530 Georgetown Road in unincorporated Hegeler, south of Danville, at 4:13 a.m. Nov. 21. Initial reports said Emory was shot by a deputy — a 20-year-plus veteran, whose name hasn't been released — "during the attempted enforcement action."
Vermilion County Sheriff Pat Hartshorn has said the deputy was following departmental procedure when he fired his weapon.
Emory was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries to his left jaw area for several days. Following his release, he was charged with one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm, one count of aggravated assault of a person 60 years old or more, and one count of assault, in connection with an incident that occurred shortly before he was shot.
That incident occurred at a home at 138 Arlington Dr., in unincorporated Home Gardens.
At a preliminary hearing in December, state police Sgt. Windy Lash testified that Emory was at the home for a drinking party when he got into an argument with the owner. She said witnesses heard a gunshot, then noticed a bullet hole in the window, a divot mark on a nearby washer, a hole in a mattress that was leaning against the washer and paint chip on the washer that was consistent with a bullet striking the house.
Lash also testified that another partygoer told police that when he asked Emory why he shot at them, Emory said he was sorry and didn't know why he did that.
Emory's jury trial is set for later this month but likely will be continued. If he's convicted on the weapons offense, he could face between four and 15 years in prison.
He remains in the county jail.