ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) – An appellate court has tossed a central Illinois man’s gun conviction, ruling a lower court shouldn’t have allowed a Facebook photograph of him standing near guns to be entered as evidence.
Illinois’ 3rd District Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of 29-year-old Spencer D. Watkins. The Peoria man was convicted of being a felon in possession of a gun in 2016 and given a nine-year prison term.READ MORE: Coronavirus In Illinois: 298 New Cases, Including 11 Deaths; 52% Of Adults Fully Vaccinated
The court found the photo wasn’t proof Watkins possessed a gun as he ran from a car after a traffic stop. An officer said he had one, but it was never recovered.READ MORE: Archdiocese Of Chicago Relaxes COVID-19 Protocols, Lifts Capacity Limits
Prosecutors entered the photo to show it was likely he had a gun and disposed of it before his arrest. The defense says the officer mistook a cellphone for a gun.
No retrial date has been set.MORE NEWS: Man Shot While Standing Outside In Old Norwood Park
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