The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 3, 2013

Man takes back plea

Files motions on own behalf in murder case


DANVILLE — The case involving a man accused in a 2010 shooting in a Danville parking lot experienced a setback Thursday.

Jemarius J. Forman, 26, of Danville had been scheduled to appear in Vermilion County Circuit Court on Thursday afternoon for sentencing regarding his role in the death of 21-year-old Juane Anglin more than two years ago.

Forman reached a plea agreement with prosecutors at the end of October. He agreed to plead guilty to one count of first-degree murder as long as the other three murder charges filed against him were dropped.

But Forman eliminated any sentencing decisions when he filed motions on his own behalf to withdraw his guilty plea in the case and withdraw his counsel, claiming ineffective assistance.

The move is similar to Forman’s actions in November when he filed motions prior to his sentencing to withdraw his guilty plea and counsel. He withdrew those motions at his originally scheduled sentencing and, under sworn questioning from Judge Nancy Faney, confirmed his actions to the court.

Assistant State’s Attorney Chuck Mockbee said Thursday the court approved Forman’s motion regarding his attorneys. The Public Defender’s Office was appointed to defend Forman and the defendant was given 21 days to hire private counsel if he desires.

A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 4 to check on Forman’s status in the case.

Mockbee said Forman’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea was not addressed at Thursday’s hearing.

Going into Thursday’s hearing, Forman faced no more than 25 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections under terms of the plea agreement reached in the case.

The first-degree murder charges carry with them a sentence of 20 to 60 years — or in some instances a life sentence — in the Illinois Department of Corrections, if Forman had been tried and convicted in court.

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.