Probation for half-siblings tied to botched plan to rob drug dealer

Probation for half-siblings tied to botched plan to rob drug dealer

URBANA — Two members of the same family who admitted taking part in a plan to rob a drug dealer that involved gunfire have each been sentenced to four years of probation.

Assistant State's Attorney Troy Lozar said even though neither Damyan Shepherd, 19, of Mahomet, nor his half-sister, Krista Shepherd, 22, of Gibson City, had any prior criminal convictions, he sought prison terms for each because they were present when a third man fired shots into an Urbana home.

Both Shepherds were sentenced in separate hearings by Judge Tom Difanis, who had earlier accepted their guilty pleas to conspiracy to commit home invasion.

Difanis also sentenced Damyan Shepherd to 90 days in jail and Krista Shephered to 85 days.

The charge stemmed from their arrests for an April 17 incident at a home on Cedric Drive in Urbana Township.

Champaign County sheriff's Deputy J.R. Meeker testified that the resident reported that he believed three people were trying to rob him because he sells drugs and had cash and drugs in his home that night.

Lozar said on that night, a person who said she was Krista Shepherd knocked. Even though the resident knew her and began to unlock the door, he felt something was amiss so he relocked the door.

He then heard a gun being cocked and four rounds being fired into the home.

The trio outside fled but deputies later got to them after the resident gave them Krista Shepherd's name.

Meeker testified to finding bullet holes that entered and exited the house not far from where three men were inside.

One of the rounds that exited went into a neighbor's shed and lodged in a treadmill, Meeker testified.

Lozar also had Meeker testify about cellphone text messages between Damyan Shepherd and another man that referred to them being armed and on their way to Urbana from Gibson City.

Lozar said a third man, Andrew Golding, 24, of the 400 block of Briar Lane, Champaign, pleaded guilty to aggravated discharge of a firearm for actually firing the shots into the home.

He is set to be sentenced on Nov. 21. Lozar agreed to cap his recommendation at 10 years in prison although the maximum he could receive is 30.

In exchange for each of the Shepherds' pleas to conspiracy to commit home invasion, another charge of attempted home invasion was dismissed.

Each are Class 1 felonies that carried penalties ranging from probation to four to 15 years in prison.

Attorneys for the Shepherds sought sentences of probation, or in the alternative, boot camp, for their young clients.

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