Rantoul man admits shooting at Foosland house in drug-payment dispute

Rantoul man admits shooting at Foosland house in drug-payment dispute

URBANA — A Rantoul man who admitted he fired shots at a home in Foosland in February faces 12 years in prison when he is sentenced in November.

Sheldon Gross, 24, whose last known address was in the 700 block of St. Andrews Circle, pleaded guilty Wednesday before Judge Tom Difanis to aggravated discharge of a firearm.

The charge alleged that on Feb. 3, Gross fired a gun at a house in the 200 block of Sixth Street because of a dispute he was having with the resident there over payment for drugs.

Assistant State's Attorney Troy Lozar said the victim wanted to pay with a Sammy Sosa baseball card, but Gross apparently did not find that as valuable as the man offering it did.

Champaign County sheriff's investigators said people were in the house when the bullets penetrated but no one was harmed.

Gross was arrested a few days after the shooting at a home in Foosland. He admitted to deputies that there had been a dispute over money and that he was at the house on Sixth Street but denied firing the gun, Lozar said.

Although the charge normally carries penalties up to 15 years in prison, Lozar agreed to cap his sentencing recommendation at 12 years. Gross has several prior convictions for robbery, possession of a controlled substance, gang activity in Cook County and obstructing justice.

Difanis set sentencing for Nov. 6 and agreed to a request by Gross' attorney, Steve Sarm, that Gross be released from jail Wednesday to attend the funeral of his sister, Shana Outlaw, 23, who was killed in a traffic crash last week on U.S. 45 north of Urbana.

Difanis ordered Gross to return to the county jail by Thursday night.

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