Champaign man with history of mental-health issues faces gun charges – Champaign/Urbana News


James gun charges.jpg  Champaign man with history of mental-health issues faces gun charges - Champaign/Urbana News fb53c 32249 0713 loca james

URBANA — A 72-year-old Champaign man with mental-health issues in his past has been charged with possessing guns without a firearm owner’s identification card.

State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said Alan James, 72, of the 700 block of South Lynn Street, was charged Wednesday with two counts of possession of a firearm without a FOID card.

A judge set his bond at $75,000 on the Class 3 felony counts and told him to return to court July 19. James asked for time to hire his own attorney.

Rietz said the guns came to the attention of police after James called them to his home June 27 for an undisclosed reason.

While there, police saw James wearing an empty holster and saw a handgun in his house. After the call, police confirmed that James’ FOID card had been revoked in August 2013 because of mental-health issues.

They obtained a warrant to search his home for guns and did so Tuesday morning. They found a Glock 9 mm handgun, a 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition for a rifle, pistol and shotgun, Rietz said.

James admitted to police that he had received a letter from the Illinois State Police informing him of his revoked FOID card but said he believed it was fraudulent.

James has no prior convictions but is known to police because he was present Oct. 7, 2011, when his brother, Gerard, now 74, shot their cousin, Harlan, 80, in the chest, killing him.

Harlan James, a retired prominent Champaign businessman, had gone to a cornfield near Mahomet to speak to his cousins, who were harvesting. As he approached Gerard James in his truck, Gerard James pulled the gun and killed his cousin.

A year later, a judge acquitted Gerard James of murder, finding him not guilty by reason of insanity.

Alan James was the person who called 911 after the shooting to report that the well-known “desperado” Harlan James had been shot and killed.

Champaign psychiatrist Lawrence Jeckel examined the brothers and found both suffered from a longstanding delusion that Harlan James was a serial killer out to get them.

Alan James was never criminally charged in connection with his cousin’s fatal shooting.