Charges dismissed in New Year's Eve shooting in Urbana

Charges dismissed in New Year's Eve shooting in Urbana

URBANA — A Champaign County prosecutor dismissed a charge alleging a Champaign man shot another man in Urbana on New Year's Eve.

Assistant State's Attorney Tim Sullivan said he dismissed a charge of aggravated battery with a firearm against Lavante Neal last week because of "significant credibility issues" with the 19-year-old victim, who was his only witness.

Neal turned himself in on Jan. 19 to face a charge alleging that he shot a man in the arm outside the One South apartments at 1365 N. Lincoln Ave., U, on Dec. 31, 2017.

Sullivan said he had no video surveillance or independent witnesses who could corroborate the man's story about what happened that day. Further, he said the victim continuously gave Urbana police several different versions of what supposedly happened, from the start of the year through his last statement in April.

Sullivan said the victim ultimately admitted to police that he was selling cannabis at the time of the shooting and said he wasn't entirely honest with police because he did not want to get in trouble for that.

Neal had been held in jail from the time he turned himself in Jan. 19 until the case was dismissed Thursday.

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