My sister is a victim of someone who assaulted her then fired a gun at her 3ft away grazing her hair. Her daughter, who has limited visitation with, was there to witness the entire event. The woman was caught and has been put into custody. The state is pressing charges of aggravated discharge of a fire arm (the woman does hold a FOID card and a CCL).
Wouldn’t this be considered attempted murder since she shot w intent to harm/kill? Especially since she’s been trained properly (and I use that word lightly)? Could she also be charged w child endangerment? Should the victim (my sister) also retain her own counsel or allow the state to prosecute?
Our family has never been in a situation like this but we would like to see her never harm another person/child again. Thank you for your time.
Both Ag Discharge and Attempt Murder carry significant time. Ag Discharge is generally a Class 1 felony (4 to 15) and Attempt Murder is a Class X (6 to 30). There are many variables that could enhance either charge that would add even more significant time upon conviction. However, instead of going through all those variables, I would advise you and your family to do 2 things. Have a discussion with the State's Attorney's Office as they are the ones responsible for the prosecution of the case against your sister (private lawyers do not do this unless a special counsel is needed) And secondly, wait until the case is presented to a grand jury as prosecutors typically prefer grand jury proceedings to preliminary hearings for serious crimes against individuals. Often times a "complaint for preliminary examination" contains the "bare bones" charges against the defendant, whereas an indictment (which will follow a grand jury's true bill) will include the "kitchen sink," and it's very possible that an attempt murder count or 2 will be included in that indictment. If not, then you have the absolute right to know why.
Sorry for your family's ordeal, and best of luck on this.
Your sister really does not need to retain her own attorney in this criminal matter as the State's Attorney's Office represents your sister's interests; however, your sister is always free to retain an attorney if she chooses. Your sister really needs to contact the Assistant State's Attorney specifically assigned to prosecute this case. That prosecutor can give her their specific rationale for why they charged and did not charge certain offenses, including the fact that attempted Murder is extremely difficult to prove as it is difficult to prove the intent and/or knowledge needed. This person could also be charged with child endangerment, but that is really a minor criminal offense when compared to aggravated discharge of a firearm or any other weapons offense the prosecutor may choose to add.
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