Illegally-armed Decatur man gets 1 year in prison

DECATUR — Aziz D. Jarrett-XHamilton told the cop who had just struggled to subdue him after he had fled from a Decatur traffic stop that he carried an illegal gun “because there is a lot going on” in his hometown.

The 30-year-old defendant, of Decatur, now has a limited view of what’s going on in town, as he was sent to prison for a year after pleading guilty in Macon County Circuit Court to the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

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A sworn affidavit filed by State Trooper Scott Bissonnette said he had encountered Jarrett-XHamilton after pulling over a car he was a passenger in on the morning of Nov. 28, 2022.

The driver stayed put as Jarrett-XHamilton took off running, but he stumbled and fell and was soon chased down by Bissonnette. The two then began a hectic struggle on the ground as the defendant resisted attempts to control and handcuff his hands.

“As I was doing so, I felt what I thought to be a firearm in his jacket pocket,” Bissonnette said. “I struggled with Jarrett for an extended time while giving him verbal commands to put his hands behind his back and to stop resisting.”

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The trooper was eventually aided by other arriving officers and, once his prisoner was handcuffed, asked Jarrett-XHamilton why he carried a weapon he was not licensed to own.

“He advised he had the firearm because ‘There is a lot going on.’ Jarrett said he bought the firearm yesterday (the day before the traffic stop) and paid approximately $100.”

Jarrett-XHamilton was sentenced by Judge Jeffrey Geisler at a hearing Jan. 3. He was also ordered to pay $250 to have his DNA added to a criminal database maintained by the Illinois State Police.

Industry experts say Black women increasingly are considering gun ownership for personal protection due in part to concerns over surging crime in cities.

Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid