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March Arraignment Date Set For Sen. Trotter On Gun Charge

State Sen. Donne Trotter leaves the Leighton Criminal Courthouse after being released on $25,000 bond on Dec. 6, 2012, on a charge of trying to bring a gun onto a plane at O'Hare International Airport the day before. (Credit: CBS)

State Sen. Donne Trotter leaves the Leighton Criminal Courthouse after being released on $25,000 bond on Dec. 6, 2012, on a charge of trying to bring a gun onto a plane at O’Hare International Airport the day before. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (STMW) – A Cook County judge found probable cause Thursday to pursue felony gun charges against State Sen. Donne Trotter, charged with attempting to bring a firearm onto an airplane in December.

Judge Ann O’Donnell set an arraignment date of March 12, the Sun-Times is reporting.

“This is not a shock,” Trotter’s attorney, Thomas Durkin, told reporters after the brief hearing. “This is just the next step in the case. We’re not horribly concerned.”

Trotter — previously been considered one of the front-runners in the race for 2nd Congressional District seat — dropped out of the race to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. on Dec. 29. He refused to answer reporters’ questions after the hearing.

Durkin described the evidence in the case as “favorable.”

“The case law is very clear — that you have to prove knowledge” of possessing a gun, and Trotter clearly didn’t, Durkin said.

In court, Durkin’s questions to the Chicago Police officer who responded to O’Hare were intended to point out that the gun was small — small enough to fit into the palm of a hand — and that Trotter had simply forgotten to remove the gun after working a security job the night before.

A .25-caliber Beretta and an ammunition clip with six live rounds were found in Trotter’s carry-on.

Officer Vince Bielicki testified that TSA employees alerted him to “the outlines of a gun” on an X-ray monitor.

Durkin said Trotter made no attempt to hide the gun in a lead case and that the law said Trotter’s intent should be taken into account, prompting O’Donnell to respond: “I’m aware of the case law.”

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)