URBANA — A man wanted in connection with an armed robbery and shooting at a north Champaign motel last year appeared in court Wednesday to answer to charges lodged against him more than a year ago.
Deandre D. Thomas, 30, who listed an address in the 1100 block of Falcon Way, Rantoul, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of armed robbery and aggravated battery with a firearm.
The Class X felonies stemmed from an April 24, 2013, incident at the Red Roof Inn in Champaign where a Jacksonville man was shot in the back during what Champaign police described as a drug deal gone bad.
A police report said that the victim had gone to the motel with cannabis to sell in a deal arranged by another person. Once there, two men, later identified as Thomas and Naytwane A. Adams, 37, allegedly approached him with guns drawn.
The victim, a 32-year-old Jacksonville man, ran from the room and was shot in the back.
The same charges had been lodged against Thomas and Adams last April but in August, a prosecutor dismissed Adams’ case when the alleged victim couldn’t be located for trial.
Assistant State’s Attorney Troy Lozar said Wednesday he wasn’t sure what the man’s status is now but said his office would try to find him soon and review the case to see if he’s needed for Thomas’ prosecution.
Thomas was found in Rantoul on Tuesday by police who were there serving a warrant in an unrelated case.
His bond remains at the $750,000 that was set last April when the arrest warrant was issued.
Thomas is due back in court June 27 for a probable cause hearing.
If convicted of the more serious of the two charges, Thomas faces 21 to 45 years in prison.