BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
A Danville man who originally decided to back out of pleading guilty to a 2010 shooting homicide changed his mind and accepted his sentence last week.
Jemarius Forman, 26, was slated for sentencing in early January on a first-degree murder charge when the defendant changed is mind when he filed motions on his own behalf to withdraw his guilty plea in the case and withdraw his counsel, claiming ineffective assistance.
A hearing was set for last Thursday to check the status of the case. Instead Forman was sentenced on the first-degree murder charge to which he had originally pleaded guilty.
Assistant State’s Attorney Chuck Mockbee said county prosecutors were informed that Forman — who had since hired an attorney for representation — wanted to be sentenced on the terms of the original agreement he struck with prosecutors in October.
Forman, speaking in court to Judge Nancy Fahey, officially confirmed he would not pursue his motion to withdraw from the plea agreement reached in the case. The agreement was for one count of first-degree murder and set the potential prison sentence at between 20-25 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Fahey, as a result of Forman’s decision, sentenced the defendant to 24 years in state prison. He received credit for a little more than three years served in the Public Safety Building jail.
According to Mockbee, Forman must serve all of the prison term under state statute. The sentence will run consecutive to a three-year prison term he received in a 2009 Vermilion County case.
The first-degree murder charges carry with them a sentence of 20 to 60 years — or in some instances a life sentence — in state prison, if Forman had been tried and convicted in court.
Forman was originally arrested and charged for his role in the 2010 death of 21-year-old Juane Anglin.
A small silver stereo — along with threats and arguments about a tire rim — were at the center of the shooting incident that took place the evening of May 11, 2010.
Forman and his brother drove into the parking lot just before 7 p.m. May 11, 2010, and encountered Anglin. According to previous testimony at a preliminary hearing, Forman had reported as early as late April 2010 that he and his brother were being verbally threatened by Anglin after they had sold him a tire rim on a car.
Forman told police he was approaching that vehicle on foot when he contends he saw Anglin bend forward in the seat. As he moved closer, Forman contends he saw something silver and assumed he had a gun.
Detective Bruce Stark testified during the preliminary hearing in 2010 that Anglin began to move across the back seat to the other side of the car, at which time Forman circled around the vehicle. From 3 feet away, he then fired seven times at Anglin, striking him with each round from a 9 mm pistol.
A search by police found no firearms on Anglin or in the vehicle where he was seated. A small silver stereo was found on the backseat floorboard.
Forman called 911 after the shooting to report the incident and led police to his gun, which he had placed inside the vehicle in which he was riding.