Criminal Justice

Acquitted by jury in gun case, defendant is jailed by presiding judge for probation violation


Corrected: A jury in Illinois wasn’t convinced by the evidence against Andre Winters in a firearm-discharge case.

But the presiding judge was, calling the main prosecution witness “incredibly credible.” That resulted in a revocation of probation for Winters, 28, in an earlier aggravated battery case, based on the same evidence that failed to win a criminal conviction against him from the Champaign County jury, the News-Gazette reports.

“This is not a close case,” said Judge Thomas Difanis, contending that the witness testimony in the gun prosecution, bolstered by circumstantial evidence, proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt. However, “the jury made a contrary finding, and that’s up to them.”

The judge had Winters taken into custody after the jury verdict, revoking his bond. Winters awaits resentencing in April for aggravated battery and could get as much as 10 years, the newspaper reports.

Updated Feb. 20 to correct a word in the lead sentence.


Correction

Story was updated Feb. 20 to correct a word in the lead sentence. The sentence should have said, “A jury in Illinois wasn’t convinced by the evidence against Andre Winters in a firearm-discharge case.” The ABA Journal regrets the error.


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