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A memorial sprung up outside the Gramercy Park apartments in Champaign after the May 21 early-morning fatal shooting of James ‘Rooster’ Coleman. He was the second fatal shooting victim of 2020 in Champaign.

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URBANA — A man wanted for the fatal shooting of his friend in west Champaign last week turned himself in to authorities in Urbana late Wednesday morning.

Judge Tom Difanis had issued a warrant last week for the arrest of Keith L. Baker, 24, after Baker was charged with the May 21 murder of James “Rooster” Coleman.

He is being held in the Champaign County Jail lieu of $1 million bond and is expected to make his first court appearance Thursday.

Mr. Coleman, 25, of Rantoul, was killed inside an apartment at Gramercy Park, 205 S. Country Fair Drive, where several friends had gathered.

Champaign police have declined to release details of what they believe happened so as not to jeopardize their continuing investigation.

The shooting happened about 2 a.m. and witnesses scattered soon after.

Police have been trying to track all of them down for statements.

Besides three counts of first-degree murder, one of which alleges Baker personally discharged the gun, Assistant State’s Attorney Kristin Alferink also filed a fourth count of unlawful possession of weapons by a felon.

Court records show that Baker has previous convictions for retail theft, burglary, misdemeanor possession of cannabis and driving under revocation.

If convicted of first-degree murder, he faces 45 to 85 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).