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URBANA — A Champaign County judge has ordered that a 16-year-old boy who allegedly brought a loaded gun to Centennial High School this week remain locked up while a criminal case against him moves forward.

Judge Tom Difanis found it a “matter of immediate and urgent necessity” that the teen be detained. He arraigned him Wednesday on a Class 3 felony charge of unlawful use of weapons. The charge is higher than normal because the teen allegedly had no firearm owner’s identification card and because he brought the gun into a school.

Assistant State’s Attorney Lindsey Clark said about noon Wednesday that Champaign police were investigating the teen for a retail theft that he allegedly committed Monday. They took him outside school and found in his backpack a fully loaded 9 mm Glock handgun with a 34-round extended magazine.

Difanis ordered the teen to be back in court before Judge Heidi Ladd on Oct. 15.

The youth is on probation for a misdemeanor theft that happened earlier this year. He also had a 2017 adjudication for misdemeanor resisting arrest.


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).