Three charged with intimidating witness in Champaign murder case

Three charged with intimidating witness in Champaign murder case

URBANA — Three people have been criminally charged with threatening a witness in a Champaign murder case, two of them while in custody at the county jail.

State's Attorney Julia Rietz said her office obtained warrants Tuesday charging brothers Paul Craig, 39, and Devon Craig, 37, of Champaign, as well as Markeeta McFarland, 38, with aggravated intimidation of a witness.

The Craig brothers were charged late last month in connection with the June 24 shooting death of Allen Redding, 26. He was shot outside in the 1500 block of Hedge Road, Champaign, in the early evening hours.

Rietz said last week, Champaign police approached her office with information that the female witness to Mr. Redding's shooting had been contacted by McFarland, who allegedly tried to persuade her not to testify.

"It was brought to our attention and we agreed we need to charge people who threaten our witnesses," said Rietz. "We need to make sure that the public feels safe when they come forward with information that helps us address violence."

Devon Craig was charged with Mr. Redding's murder while Paul Craig was charged only with being an armed habitual criminal and unlawful use of weapons by a felon.

First Assistant State's Attorney Steve Ziegler said earlier that Paul Craig's role in the shooting was being clarified.

A third man, Micah Hopkins, 30, last of the 1300 block of North Harris Street, was also charged with Mr. Redding's murder earlier this month and remains at large.

Police arrested McFarland on the intimidation warrant Tuesday afternoon at her home in the 500 block of Glenn Drive in Urbana. She's being held on $750,000 bond.

Rietz said police obtained recordings of phone calls between the Craigs and McFarland in which they told her to persuade the witness not to cooperate with authorities. They also interviewed the witness about what McFarland had said to her.

Devon Craig was arrested on June 28. Paul Craig has been in custody since July 10.

Aggravated intimidation of a witness is a Class 2 felony carrying penalties upon conviction of probation to three to 14 years in prison.

Devon Craig is being held on a total of $2.75 million bond. Paul Craig is now being held in lieu of $1.5 million bond.

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