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Press Release

Jury Convicts Champaign Man for Felon in Possession of a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

Urbana, Ill. – A jury deliberated for nearly two hours before returning its guilty verdict late Friday, July 8, 2016, against Kevin Pettis, aka KP, 37, of the 400 block of South State St., Champaign, Ill., for possession of a firearm by a felon, as announced by Jim Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois.

During the trial, which began on July 6, the government presented evidence to establish that on July 7, 2013, around 3:18 a.m., Pettis fired a Taurus, .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol from a Chevrolet Tahoe in the parking lot of the Oakwood Trace Apartments in north Champaign. When a woman reported the shooting, Pettis drove to his apartment in the 400 block of South State Street and tried to hide the pistol in his jacket in his apartment. Officers of the Champaign Police Department arrested Pettis minutes later as he was walking away from the apartment. They located and recovered the stolen, loaded gun after obtaining a search warrant for his apartment. At the time, Pettis had six prior felony convictions:  three aggravated battery, reckless discharge of a firearm, possession of a weapon by a felon, and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Pettis remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, where he has been since his arrest on Dec. 7, 2015. Sentencing for Pettis is scheduled for Nov. 7, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Colin S. Bruce in Urbana, Ill.

The maximum statutory penalty for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon is 10 years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eugene L. Miller and A. Remy Taborga. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Champaign Police Department investigated the case.

Updated July 11, 2016

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