Champaign man shot while wielding nunchaku faces home-invasion charge


Listen to this article

URBANA — A Champaign man who was shot after he allegedly threatened a man in that man's home has been arraigned on a charge of home invasion.

Dontre I. Wilkerson, 19, whose last known address was in the 3200 block of West John Street, appeared in Champaign County Circuit Court on Thursday with his attorney, Ed Piraino of Champaign.

Wilkerson had been charged earlier this year with home invasion and criminal trespass to residence in connection with a Nov. 25, 2017, incident that happened at an apartment in the 600 block of English Creek Court in Champaign.

State's Attorney Julia Rietz said on that day, the son of the man living in the apartment was arguing outside with others about money.

His father went outside with a holstered gun on his side to investigate. As the father was returning into his home, Wilkerson, who was with two other men, allegedly followed him inside. There in the living room, Wilkerson allegedly reached into his sweatshirt and pulled out the nunchaku while making threatening remarks to the man.

Rietz said as Wilkerson allegedly came at the man with the nunchaku above his head, the man pulled his gun and fired as he fell backward. The shot hit Wilkerson, who then got on top of the man and tried to disarm him.

The man's son and another man were able to help the father fight off Wilkerson, who eventually ran off, and was later hospitalized. It was not disclosed what part of Wilkerson's body was hit by gunfire.

Rietz said there was surveillance video of the confrontation that corroborated the victim's version of events that he was acting in self-defense.

In March, her office filed the home-invasion and criminal-trespass charges against Wilkerson and obtained a warrant for his arrest.

Piraino told Judge Brett Olmstead in court Thursday that Wilkerson turned himself in to authorities in Indiana where he was living when he learned of the warrant and was recently returned to Champaign County.

Olmstead reduced Wilkerson's bond from the $100,000 initially set on the warrant to $30,000. He ordered Wilkerson to have no contact with the man or his apartment, and to be back in court Tuesday for a probable-cause hearing.

If convicted of home invasion, Wilkerson faces six to 30 years in prison.


Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).