PEORIA, Ill. (WCIA) — Two women have been indicted by a federal grand jury with charges related to the purchase of the gun that was used to kill Champaign Police Officer Chris Oberheim.
Ashantae Corruthers, 28 of Indianapolis, and Regina Lewis, 27 of Normal, were charged on October 4 on charges of conspiracy to illegally purchase and transfer a firearm and conspiracy to engage in misleading conduct. They were arrested on Thursday and formally indicted on Friday in Peoria.
The indictment accused the two of conspiring with the late Darion Lafayette to buy and give him a gun that he could not legally purchase on his own due to being a convicted felon. Corruthers is accused of falsely certifying to the ATF that she was the actual buyer of a Glock 48 semiautomatic pistol and ammunition she bought on November 17, 2020, from a federal firearm licensee in Indianapolis. The indictment accused her of acting under the direction of Lewis and Lafayette, the latter of whom illegally received the gun.
The indictment further accused Corruthers and Lewis of conspiring with Lafayette to cover up the illegal purchase and transfer of the gun to Lafayette’s possession. On April 26, 2021, Corruthers is said to have falsely reported to Indianapolis Police that the gun had been stolen from her the previous month.
Twenty-three days after this report was made, on the morning of May 19, 2021, Lafayette used the gun to shoot officers Chris Oberheim and Jeffery Creel. Both Oberheim and Lafayette were killed in the incident.
The indictment also accused Corruthers and Lewis of continuing to cover up their involvement in Oberheim’s death after the shooting. Corruthers is said to have falsely told an investigating ATF Special Agent that she purchased the gun for herself, that it was stolen from her and that she did not know Lafayette.
At their initial court appearance on Friday, both Corruthers and Lewis asked that their detention hearings be continued. Judge Jonathan Haeley scheduled a detention hearing for both next Wednesday; he ordered they remain detained until then.
If convicted, the women face up to 20 years in prison for the misleading conduct charge, and up five years in prison for the illegal purchase and transfer charge. Each charge carries a penalty of up to three years of parole and up to a $250,000 fine.