URBANA -- A Champaign teen who was present when his friend was fatally shot by a Champaign police officer 18 months ago is in jail for carrying an operational stun gun.
Champaign County Judge Harry Clem on Thursday found that it was a matter of "immediate and urgent necessity" that Jeshaun Manning-Carter, 17, who listed an address in the 2400 block of North Neil Street, be held in the Juvenile Detention Center on a charge of unlawful use of a weapon.
Manning-Carter was arrested early Wednesday by Champaign police after a woman living in the 0-100 block of Leichner Drive reported prowlers in her yard about 12:30 a.m.
When police arrived, they found three teen-age boys.
State's Attorney Julia Rietz said two of the teens stopped when told to by police, but Manning-Carter tried to walk away. Police found a working stun gun on him and arrested him. The other youths were not arrested.
A stun gun is a nonlethal weapon that delivers a high-voltage shock when it comes in contact with the body. Unlike a Taser, it does not have probes that can be shot from a distance.
Rietz said the teens said they were knocking on the window to wake the woman's son, who was not home. Because she didn't recognize them, she called police.
Rietz said because Manning-Carter is 17 and the offense is a misdemeanor, his case is being kept in juvenile court. Clem appointed the public defender's office to represent him and set his next court date for April 20.
It was a year ago, on April 13, 2010, that Rietz dismissed charges that had been lodged against Manning-Carter in connection with the Oct. 9, 2009, incident on West Vine Street in Champaign that resulted in Kiwane Carrington, 15, being accidentally shot to death by Officer Daniel Norbits.
Manning-Carter, then 16, had been charged with aggravated resisting a peace officer for resisting the efforts of Police Chief R.T. Finney to take him into custody in connection with what Finney and Norbits thought was a burglary to the home where the boys were in the back yard.
Rietz dismissed the charges after Manning-Carter and his mother went through the Parenting With Love and Limits program and he maintained regular attendance at the READY school in Champaign. He is still a student there.
Rietz said in Wednesday's incident, Manning-Carter offered no reason to police for having the stun gun but said he found it.
The prosecutor said the woman who called police was the same one who lived in the home on West Vine Street where Mr. Carrington was shot. She had moved since then, Rietz said.
Last month, another Champaign County judge dismissed a civil suit that Manning-Carter had filed in October against the city, Finney and Norbits, alleging the youth suffered emotional distress from the incident. However, Manning-Carter's attorney, Alfred Ivy, has until April 18 to amend the complaint and refile. Ivy could not be reached for comment on whether he will do that.
And last week, the arbitrator hearing Norbits' appeal of his 30-day suspension over the shooting held his first session with representatives of Norbits and the city. City Attorney Fred Stavins said because of the volume of material the arbitrator has to review and his own schedule, the next session won't be until August.
Norbits remains off the job but is receiving workman's compensation, Stavins confirmed.