URBANA, Ill. – Kevin Pettis, aka KP, 37, of the 400 block of South State Street, Champaign, was sentenced today to the maximum 120 months in federal prison for illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, as announced by Jim Lewis, U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois. Pettis has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his federal arrest in December 2015. Pettis was also ordered to remain on supervised release for three years following his release from prison.
On July 8, 2016, a jury convicted Pettis following a two-day trial. During the trial, the government presented evidence to establish that on July 7, 2013, around 3:18 a.m., Pettis fired a Taurus, .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol from a vehicle in the parking lot of the Oakwood Trace Apartments in north Champaign. When a woman reported the shooting, Pettis drove to his apartment and tried to hide the pistol in his jacket in his apartment. Officers of the Champaign Police Department arrested Pettis minutes later as he was walking away from the apartment. After obtaining a search warrant for his apartment, officers located and recovered the stolen, loaded gun. At the time, Pettis had seven prior felony convictions. Officers later found gunshot residue on Pettis’ hand and Pettis’ DNA on the gun, which had been used in another shooting in Champaign less than a month earlier.
According to court documents, Pettis has twice before shot other individuals and has three prior felony convictions for aggravated battery, plus convictions for theft, unlawful possession of a weapon, reckless discharge of a firearm, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute it, and theft. He also has two misdemeanor battery convictions, two DUI convictions, and convictions for obstructing a peace officer.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Champaign Police Department investigated the case.