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Jailed on attempted murder charges, Decatur man picks up new weapons charges

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Amante T. O'Neal mug shot

O'Neal

DECATUR — Amante T. O’Neal, already jailed on two preliminary charges of attempted murder, picked up new preliminary illegal weapons charges Wednesday without ever leaving his cell.

A sworn affidavit from Decatur police said detectives rearrested him there at 7 p.m. and booked him on the new counts of possession of a weapon by a felon and possession of a stolen weapon.

Detective Jason Danner said the arrest was based on an analysis from the Illinois State Police Crime Laboratory which reported it had identified a latent fingerprint belonging to O’Neal, 24, on a semi-automatic pistol.

The gun had been found by detectives in a house in the 1200 block of North Church Street on Dec. 23 as police searched for evidence in wake of the murder of Jayleon Cummings, 20, who was shot to death the night before.

Tyreco S. Garry, 25, is being held in the jail accused of that murder. Danner does not implicate O’Neal in the homicide, but notes Cummings’s death is associated with a feud between the East and Southside street gangs.

Danner said witness information had linked both the house where the gun was found and O’Neal to gang activity. 

Danner said the 7.65 caliber Pietro Beretta Gardone pistol was seized from a closet shelf in a bedroom and had been reported stolen in Decatur. He said police also found an American Tactical Inc. .22 caliber rifle inside a garbage can in another bedroom.

“And detectives located ammunition of different calibers hidden throughout the residence,” Danner added.

The attempted murder charges against O’Neal stem from shootings on the afternoon of Dec. 20 in the 1100 block of East Hickory Street. That incident left one 23-year-old man with a gunshot wound to his right arm but almost killed another man, aged 24, who was with him.

That victim suffered head wounds which Danner described as “lasting life-threatening injuries.”

O’Neal remained in custody Thursday night with bail set at $1.2 million, meaning he would have to post $120,000 to be released. At the time of his arrest on the attempted murder charges, he had been on parole after pleading guilty to a charge of armed robbery in 2016 and receiving a 7.5 year prison sentence.

All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state's attorney’s office.


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

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