Sangamon County S/A: Brown was justified in using deadly force in the shooting death of Willie Evans

Martin A. Brown – Age 26

Springfield, Illinois – Sangamon County State’s Attorney, Dan Wright, announced today that Martin A. Brown, age 26, was justified in using deadly force in the shooting death of 29 year old Willie C. Evans Jr.

Today, Brown was officially charged with Armed Habitual Criminal (Class X felony; 6-30 years served at 85%; not probational eligible) and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon (Class 2 felony; 3-14 years served at 50%; not probation eligible).

 An investigation by the Springfield Police Department concluded that Willie C. Evans Jr., age 29 suffered a fatal gunshot wound from a firearm discharged by Brown as Evans attempted to forcibly enter a dwelling in the 1400 block of North 11th Street in Springfield at approximately 3:30 a.m. on July 7, 2020. Witnesses reported that Evans arrived at the residence, repeatedly banged on the door and threatened violence. Witnesses also reported that Evans proceeded to a bedroom window and forced an air conditioning unit through the window to gain entry. At that time, Brown discharged a firearm toward the window, striking Evans and causing his death. A female resident also present within the dwelling during the incident was the named victim in a pending felony case against Evans for Unlawful Violation of an Order of Protection (2020-CF-719). 

Under the Illinois Criminal Code, a person is justified in the use of deadly force under certain circumstances to defend a person or dwelling. 720 ILCS 5/7-1 and 7-2. Deadly force is justified under Section 7-1 (Use of force in defense of person) when an individual “reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.” Section 7-2 provides that a person is justified in the use of deadly force “to prevent or terminate… [an] unlawful entry into or attack upon a dwelling” where such “entry is made or attempted in a violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner, and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to, him or another then in the dwelling.” Deadly force in defense of a dwelling is also justified when a person “reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.” 720 ILCS 5/7-2. 

The circumstances reported in the SPD investigation indicate that Brown discharged a firearm to prevent the forcible felony of home invasion under Section 5/7-1 of the Illinois Criminal Code. The SPD investigation also reflects that Evans attempted to enter the dwelling in a “violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner” following threats of violence and Brown reasonably believed the use of deadly force was necessary to “prevent an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to, him or another then in the dwelling” under Section 7-2. 

The Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office has completed a thorough evaluation of the SPD investigation and determined that Brown’s discharge of a firearm striking Evans was a justified use of deadly force under Illinois law given the unique facts presented. Accordingly, no additional charges related to the shooting will be filed at this time. 

Brown is charged with the offenses of Armed Habitual Criminal and Unlawful Possession of a Weapon by a Felon based upon his possession of a firearm after having been convicted of 2 forcible felonies, including residential burglary in 2012 and aggravated battery (great bodily harm) in 2018. Brown was on parole at the time of this incident. 

All counts are concurrent and any sentence imposed on each charge would be served simultaneously with any other charge of which Brown is convicted. Brown turned himself in at the Springfield Police Department on July 7, 2020 and remains in the custody of the Sangamon County Jail on bond in the amount of $500,000, but will have to pay 10 percent ($50,000) to be released.

11th St Murder Suspect turned himself in, along with a stolen gun used in the murder, and said it was self-defense

Martin A. Brown – Age 26

Springfield, Illinois – Yesterday, July 7, 2020, Springfield Police were called to the 1400 block of N. 11th St., at approximately 3:32 a.m., by a woman, who said her boyfriend had been shot outside of her house.

The victim, who was found unresponsive by police was shot in the upper torso. The victim, who has been identified as 29 year old Willie C. Evans Jr., died at 4:00 a.m. at HSHS St. John’s Hospital emergency room.

According to police, the woman said she had been in the house with a new guy who she had just met and knew as “Tone.” The woman’s on and off boyfriend – Evans started banging on the door demanding to be let inside of the house. When Evans pushed in the window air conditioning unit, Tone suddenly shot towards the now open window.

During the investigation, Tone was identified as Martin Antonio Brown, age 26.

Later in the afternoon, Martin contacted detectives and told them he acted in self-defense and wanted to turn himself in. Martin went to the Springfield Police Department and brought with him a firearm that he said he used in the shooting. That firearm was a black Taurus G2C 9mm semi-automatic handgun which was loaded with several live Hornady 9mm rounds. The 9mm semi-automatic handgun was also reported stolen in Springfield on June 22, 2020.

Martin was read his Miranda rights and interviewed by detectives. During the interview, he was asked where he got the gun? Martin said he had the gun for approximately a month after finding it on the ground after seeing someone run from the police on foot. He told detectives that he kept it hidden outside of his house until the 4th of July weekend when he decided to take it with him and keep it on him.

Martin told detectives that when he was in the house, with the woman he just met, the gun was in his pocket. He also told detectives that nobody else had possessed the gun during the time he had it.

Martin was booked into the Sangamon County Jail and has the following pending charges against him: Armed habitual criminal, a class x felony, Unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, a class 3 felony, and Possession of a stolen firearm, a class 2 felony.

At this time, Martin does not have a bond and is currently on a parole hold. According to online records, Martin pled guilty to aggravated battery in 2018 and is currently on parole for that case.

Stay tuned to Springfield Leaks for more updates.

BREAKING: Suspect who shot at a Springfield Police Officer turns himself into the Sangamon County Jail

Kareem A. Mooney – Age 18

Springfield, Illinois – On July 5, 2020, at approximately 9:55 p.m., Springfield Police Officers were in the area of S 1st. St. and Cedar when they observed two males behaving suspiciously near some parked cars.

Officers attempted to approach the subjects when one turned and fired multiple shots at Springfield Police Officer, Lamar Moore. Officer Moore dove for cover and was not struck by the gunfire. The suspect, who was identified as Kareem A. Mooney, age 18, fled on foot – possibly to the 1900 block of S. 1st St.

Along with the assistance of local law enforcement agencies and state police, a search was conducted for Kareem in the 1900 block of S. 1st St., but Kareem was not located in that area.

Yesterday, July 7, 2020, around 8:00 p.m., Kareem turned himself into the Sangamon County Jail. He is currently charged with Aggravated discharge of a firearm, a class X felony.

His bond has been set in the amount of $750,000, and will need to pay 10 percent ($75,000) to be released from the Sangamon County Jail.

BREAKING: Woman grazed in the head by a bullet in Springfield, Illinois

1100 block of N. 11th St. in Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois – On Tuesday, July 7, 2020, around 10:32 p.m., Springfield Police were called to the 1100 block of N. 11th St., for a report of a victim shot in the head.

When officers arrived on scene, the victim – a woman, appeared to be grazed by a bullet to the top of her head.

The woman was reported as alert, conscious and even walked herself out of the house to paramedics who were awaiting to transport her to a local Springfield Hospital.

At this time, we have not received any reports of an immediate arrest in connection with this shooting.

Stay tuned to Springfield Leaks for additional information.

BREAKING: Pleasant Plains Teacher who wrote racist Facebook Post has resigned

Pleasant Plains, Illinois – In a follow up to our article published yesterday (Pleasant Plains Teacher: “If it weren’t for basketball, I have a feeling they’d be just another “nigga” who got shot by a white cop while resisting arrest”), we have just been informed that the teacher has just resigned.

Luke Jason, a 7th Grade Math/Pre-Algebra teacher at Pleasant Plains Middle School, submitted his resignation to the School and they immediately accepted it.

Victim in early morning homicide in Springfield, Illinois has been identified

Willie C. Evans Jr. – Age 29

Springfield, Illinois – Today, Springfield Police were called to the 1400 block of N. 11th St., at approximately 3:32 a.m., by a woman, who said her boyfriend had been shot.

The man, who has been identified as 29 year old Willie C. Evans Jr., was taken to HSHS St. John’s Hospital emergency room where he was pronounced deceased at 4:00 a.m.

Preliminary autopsy results suggest Mr. Evans died from a single gunshot wound.

The death is under investigation by the Springfield Police Department and the Sangamon County Coroner’s Office.

According to a Springfield Leaks source, a potential suspect was identified in this shooting.

Stay tuned to Springfield Leaks for additional updates.

WANTED after shooting at a Springfield Police Officer

WANTED: Kareem A. Mooney – Age 18

Springfield, Illinois – Yesterday, at approximately 9:55 p.m., Springfield Police Officers were in the area of S 1st. St. and Cedar when they observed two males behaving suspiciously near some parked cars.

Officers attempted to approach the subjects when one turned and fired multiple shots at Springfield Police Officer, Lamar Moore. Officer Moore dove for cover and was not struck by the gunfire. The suspect, who has now been identified as Kareem A. Mooney, age 18, fled on foot – possibly to the 1900 block of S. 1st St.

Along with the assistance of local law enforcement agencies and state police, a search was conducted for Mooney in the 1900 block of S. 1st St., but Kareem was not located in that area.

Currently, police are looking for Kareem and is asking if you have information regarding this incident to call the Springfield Police Department at 217-788-8311 and/or the Sangamon/Menard County Crime Stoppers at 217-788-8427.

As of 5:30 p.m., Kareem was not in custody at the Sangamon County Jail.

Stay tuned to Springfield Leaks for additional updates.

Pleasant Plains Teacher: “If it weren’t for basketball, I have a feeling they’d be just another “nigga” who got shot by a white cop while resisting arrest”

Luke Jason of Springfield, Illinois is a Pleasant Plains Middle School Teacher

Pleasant Plains, Illinois – A Pleasant Plains teacher has been suspended for 10 days without pay after he wrote several racist Facebook Posts.

Luke Jason, of Springfield, Illinois, has been suspended for 10 days without pay. Luke, who has deleted his Facebook Page, is a 7th Grade Math/Pre-Algebra teacher at Pleasant Plains Middle School, located at 2455 N Farmingdale Rd., in Pleasant Plains, Illinois.

According to several screenshots of Luke’s Facebook page, Luke wrote the following posts, in response to a news article, about Frank Kaminsky, who made headlines in 2015 after being called a racial slur:

“I really wished that black people who use the word “nigga” towards white people could use correct grammar and punctuate. If it wasn’t for basketball, I have a feeling they’d be just another “nigga” who got shot by a white cop while resisting arrest.”

“All you black people are high (no pun intended). This dude took bullshit kindergarten courses to stay eligible because he’s a one year wonder. go on the nba, make millions of dollars, and be broke down the road like the rest-em’…”

In addition to the Facebook posts, Luke also commented, “Run them over” on a former student’s facebook post, which showed a political protest.

Matthew Runge, who is the Pleasant Plains Community Unit District #8 Superintendent, wrote in a a discipline letter to Luke, “During our discussions on June 5 and June 8, you acknowledged posting Facebook messages in 2015 that demonstrated racist ideology and a recent message that promoted violence in response to legitimate protests. As noted during our discussions, communications of this character erode your ability to serve as a credible role model for students and compromise your reputation and that of the District. Teachers are held to the highest standards of conduct, and you have failed in these circumstances to meet this standards. That being said, I am not unmindful of your good record in the District over the course of many years and your demonstration of remorse for misconduct that cannot and, you assert, will not be repeated.”

Luke was given the following discipline:

  • A ten workday suspension without pay, which took effect on or about July 1, 2020, and the suspension will be spread over two pay period.
  • Referral to an employee assistance program for sensitivity, diversity and inclusion training.

Although this discipline was imposed by the Superintendent, according to Section 4.8 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Pleasant Plains Board of Education may elect to impose further disciplinary sanctions such as an extended period of suspension without pay, issuance of a remediation notice, and or dismiss Luke completely of his employment with Pleasant Plains Middle School.

According to the Pleasant Plains School Board Agenda, this personnel matter was discussed in Executive Session on June 29. It is unknown at this time if the Pleasant Plains Board has decided to take additional disciplinary measures against Luke.

Click here to review the documents Springfield Leaks obtained from Pleasant Plains regarding this incident

Springfield INB Bank employee tests positive for COVID-19

Illinois National Bank, located at 322 E. Capitol St., in Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois – An employee at Illinois National Bank (INB), located at 322 E. Capitol St., has tested positive for COVID-19. After INB learned about their employee’s positive test results on Monday, INB tell us that they immediately acted to protect their employees and customers.

Marilyn Titone-Schaefer, Vice President, Director of Communications released the following statement to us:

As a mandated essential business, INB has been open throughout the pandemic. To assure the health and safety of our staff and customers, we took deliberate, planned safety precautions. 

One of those precautions was to confine our staff to the buildings and floors they are assigned to work from.  And like many businesses, we allowed staff to work from home. 

When we moved to the state’s phase 4 guidelines last week, we opened our branches including our downtown Springfield lobby.  Even with the opening, our employees were asked not to move between floors or buildings. On Monday we learned that one of our employees who works in our downtown lobby tested positive for COVID-19. We immediately sent all lobby employee home, asked them to get tested, did a deep cleaning of the entire 1st floor of our headquarters at 322 E. Capitol Ave in Springfield, and expect our staff to return on Monday. At that time we also expect to reopen the lobby to customers. 

The Feed Store in Downtown Springfield, Illinois is closing after 43 years in business

The Feed Store, located at 516 E. Adams St., in Springfield, Illinois

Springfield, Illinois – A downtown Springfield business will be closing their doors permanently on Friday, July 3, 2020.

The Feed Store, which is located at 516 E Adams St., will be permanently closing on Friday after 43 years in business. Ross Richardson and Ann Laurence opened The Feed Store in September, 1977.

The popular downtown restaurant offers made-from-scratch soups, delicious deli sandwiches, a variety of salads and house-made cheesecakes, carrot cake and other desserts.

Richardson, who was reached by phone earlier today, confirmed the closing of the business and told us he’s “ready to retire and the pandemic doesn’t help either.”

A formal public announcement of the business closing is expected later today, according to Richardson.