UPDATE: $5 million bond for man arrested in shooting at Urbana house party

UPDATE: $5 million bond for man arrested in shooting at Urbana house party

By MARY SCHENK

mschenk@news-gazette.com

URBANA — A Champaign man is being held in lieu of $5 million bond for his alleged role in an armed robbery and shooting at a house party early Sunday in Urbana.

Champaign County First Assistant State’s Attorney Steve Ziegler said he charged Darrion D. Brown, 23, with two counts of armed robbery and two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm alleging he is accountable for the actions of as many as four other men who took part in the robbery of two men and shootings that left two women injured.

Judge John Kennedy set the high bond for Brown, who is currently on parole for theft. He told him to be back in court Jan. 31 for a probable-cause hearing, but not before a brief interaction with him.

Urbana police Lt. Rich Surles said Brown, 23, of the 1500 block of West Kirby Avenue, was arrested at his home shortly before noon Sunday after parole agents found a set of keys believed to have been taken at gunpoint hours earlier from a man who was at a party in the 800 bock of West Springfield Avenue.

Ziegler said the violence started about 2 a.m. Sunday at a fraternity party held at a house at 804 W. Springfield Ave., U, just east of Lincoln Avenue. Ziegler said fraternity members had hired security people to screen party-goers.

The security people deemed that a group of about five men should not be admitted, which angered them.

Ziegler said the security men literally shut the door and locked it, leaving the men outside with others who were not a part of their group.

The ousted men then turned their attention to two men outside with them, demanding their valuables at gunpoint.

“The victims told police that several people came around the house and asked what was going on,” Assistant State’s Attorney Tim Sullivan told Kennedy in court Monday. “When the victims said they were being robbed, four of the five black males produced handguns and began firing.

“Other witnesses told police they heard gunshots and saw three to five black males running between 804 and 802 W. Springfield while continuing to fire shots,” Sullivan said.

Ziegler said one of those shots went through a front window and hit a23-year-old Champaign woman in the lower back as she was dancing in the living room. The other woman, a 21-year-old University of Illinois student, was shot in the ankle as she was running outside from the gunfire, he said.

Ziegler said some folks reported hearing three or four shots, then a pause, and another five or six shots.

Surles said there were about 200 people were present and it was fortunate that more were not shot.

“Through the course of the investigation of the shooting, we got an alias for one of the five who was trying to get in,” Surles said.

That led police to Brown, who is currently on parole for a 2016 theft conviction from Champaign County. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison for that in October 2016 and was paroled June 30.

Parole agents searched his apartment and found keys taken from the male UI student. Police did not find any guns.

“We are still working on it,” Surles said. “We know that there were at least three people shooting.”

Ziegler said Brown faces 21 to 45 years in prison if convicted of armed robbery with a firearm.

The prosecutor said Brown had other convictions for misdemeanor driving under the influence and theft and the felonies for theft and possession with intent to deliver cannabis.

Sections (2):News, Local

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
BruckJr wrote on January 22, 2018 at 11:01 am

On parole?  Never would have guessed that.

BART15 wrote on January 22, 2018 at 1:01 pm

Best county in the state to commit gun crimes.

bones1 wrote on January 22, 2018 at 7:01 pm

Got some stats on that Bart? 

jparks wrote on January 22, 2018 at 9:01 pm

“When the victims said they were being robbed, four of the five black males produced handguns and began firing."  When the object of the States Attorney's Office is plea bargaining, which has been proven to be clear over a long period of time, why would't you start out this case with a charge of Attempted Murder?  Obviously if your goal is punishment you should start out with the most severe possible and then plea down from that point.

I guess my question is this.  What in the world does it take to charge someone in a gun crime with Attempted Murder?

BruckJr wrote on January 22, 2018 at 10:01 pm

I guess my question is this.  What in the world does it take to charge someone in a gun crime with Attempted Murder?

Live outside the Rietz jurisdiction?

Berto71 wrote on January 23, 2018 at 5:01 am

Here is what I would like to know: 

A party of 200 people is bound to generate a huge amount of noise, which is certainly a problem at 2am.  The house being just three blocks from the UI police department, why didn't the police come there sooner to deal with the noise situation? Did any of the neighbors complain about the noise? If not, then why?

Moreover, it certainly was not the first party of this kind at this house.  In fact, in another story about this shooting, a neighbor is being quoted as saying:

"This wasn't the first time I've heard noise from a loud party from that building". 

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/local/2018-01-22/party-turned-violent-2-women-hospitalized-after-shooting.html

So, does this house have a history with the police regarding late night noise ordinance violations?

And who exactly lives there anyway? It does not sound like it is a frat-house, but you do need a pretty big space to fit 200 people inside.

 

 

GLG wrote on January 23, 2018 at 7:01 am

The voters of Champaign must be OK with this kind of "justice" they voted Reitz in and they are getting just what they deserve! I hope they are enjoying it!