CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign County state’s attorney said an Urbana man is expected to be charged with attempted murder and other charges after he was accused of shooting his former girlfriend and holding her against her will over the weekend.
State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said 47-year-old Lamont Jackson and his former girlfriend have two children in common and he was talking with her about taking them. She declined his offer. He found out on February 12 that someone else had the children and he became upset.
Rietz stated Jackson went to her residence on February 12 and broke in through the back door. He was carrying a gun with a laser sight and pointed it at her. He then hit her in the head with the gun and then fired multiple rounds. The woman was hit in the leg.
Jackson is accused of taking the woman’s phone and would not allow her to leave the house and continued to hit her.
After Jackson fell asleep, the woman was able to get a phone to call for help. Officers arrived at her residence at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.
When police went in, they found Jackson with a loaded gun and magazine and laser sight. They also found a gun and magazine in a laundry hamper.
The victim was taken to the hospital where she went into surgery for her wounds. Rietz did not have an update on her current condition.
Jackson is expected to be arraigned on several charges on Tuesday. Those charges include attempted murder, attempted kidnapping, domestic battery and more. For the attempted murder charge, Rietz said if convicted Jackson faces a minimum of 21 years in prison.
He is currently being held on a $1 million bond. If he posts $100,000, he will be ordered to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet as well as required to have no contact with the victim.
Rietz stated that Jackson has had prior convictions. Those included a 5-year term for a 2007 aggravated domestic battery charge. She stated he hit his stepson in the face and broke his nose. He was also convicted in 2010 for hitting another person with a gun.
WCIA spoke with Osajuli Cravens at Courage Connection about the role guns play in domestic violence.
“It’s a lot more dangerous if a gun is present,” Cravens said. “That gun, even if they’re not using it, even if they’re not using it to physically harm, it’s that threat that they will often go to, like, you know, I have the means to do this.”
Courage Connection provides help to anyone experiencing domestic violence. Cravens said it’s important to recognize the signs someone is in an abusive situation. Those signs can include a “people person” suddenly becoming isolated and not reaching out or speaking about things they normally would.
“If someone’s behaving outside of their character, you want to pay attention, you want to see, ask them questions, ask them if they need anything, and be willing to listen,” Cravens said. “Not necessarily pull things from them, but just listen to see if they want to tell you anything.”
Sometimes, victims might feel they have to stay, especially if they have children, pets or property shared between them and their abuser.
“The more information that you know, by listening to a friend or a family member, the better off you can help them.”
If you or someone you know needs to reach out for help, call the Domestic Violence Hotline at: (217) 384-4390 OR (877) 384-4390