A Salina man has admitted to shooting a police officer in Illinois.
According to Michael C. Carr, the State’s Attorney for Jackson County, Illinois, 24-year-old Alex. B. Karcher of Salina plead guilty to charges related to the shooting of Carbondale Police Officer Trey Harris on July 31, 2016.
Karcher entered an open plea of guilty to:
- Count 1 – Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Deliver more than 5,000 Grams of a Substance Containing Cannabis, a Class 1 Felony
- Count 2- Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer, a Class X Felon
- Count 3 – Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm, a Class X Felon
Counts 4-8 involving other shots fired at the police car were dismissed considering the defendant’s plea.
Count 1, Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Cannabis involving more than 5,000 grams, carries a potential sentence of 4-15 years’ imprisonment. It is a probationable offense.
Count 2, Aggravated Battery to a Police Officer, carries a potential sentence of 15 to 60 years and is not probationable. Count 3, Aggravated Discharge of a Firearm at a Vehicle Known to be Occupied by a Police Officer, has a sentencing range of 10-45 years and is not probationable. Because the shot which hit Officer Harris caused great bodily harm, any sentence imposed on these counts must be consecutive. The State has agreed to recommend an overall sentence which does not exceed 30 years and the charges that Karcher plead guilty to require at least a 25-year sentence.
At the hearing on his plea, Karcher admitted that he, along with others, conspired to possess with the intent to deliver more than 5,000 grams of a substance containing cannabis in Jackson and Williamson Counties during the period of December 2014 through August 2, 2016. He admitted that on July 31, 2016, that he and other co-conspirators came to Carbondale, Illinois, to collect on a debt from a previous drug deal.
On Sunday evening, July 31, 2016, he admitted that he discharged a firearm seven times at the pursuing police car which gave chase to the vehicle he was riding in after officers observed the vehicle speed away from a shooting scene in the 700 block of North Robert A. Stalls, in Carbondale. One of those shots, fired on Dillinger Road north of Carbondale, struck Carbondale police officer Trey Harris in the eye, thereby causing great bodily harm.
Karcher is currently being held in the Jackson County Jail without bond. A sentencing hearing has not yet been set.
The investigation was conducted by the Illinois State Police, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, the Carbondale Police Department, the Metro-East Forensic Science Lab, the Southern Illinois Enforcement Group, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and Salina, Kansas Police Department. State’s Attorney Michael Carr was responsible for the prosecution.