CHAMPAIGN — How did a man who is currently a murder suspect walk out of police custody three weeks before a fatal shooting?
Police are still looking for Robbie Patton. He’s accused of shooting and killing a man near campus Sunday morning.
Police already had Patton in custody once. He was arrested three weeks ago, just two days after being paroled from a boot camp on a different conviction. It has a lot of people wondering, how was he able to walk free?
Patton was released September 9. Two days later, UI police stopped a car he was in for not signaling a turn. Officers smelled marijuana, so they asked for everyone’s name. Patton lied about his.
When they found out, they arrested him. In that instance, the Department of Corrections would have been notified of the arrest, but they don’t have to issue a parole violation if it’s a misdemeanor charge, which it was.
So, he was able to bond out and go to court. His next court date was set for mid-October. Legal experts say that’s the normal process.
They say it’s also typical for a judge to recommend boot camp for someone Patton’s age. He was convicted of aggravated discharge of a firearm for an incident in December.
Police believe Patton is still armed and dangerous, but say he might not be in the area any longer. They’ve gotten some leads, but are looking for more.
Police are also still looking for several people involved in Sunday morning’s incident. One man was beaten unconscious. Officials say Patton knew the beating victim. They believe that attack led to the shootings.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers. You can remain anonymous and may earn a cash reward.