URBANA — A Rantoul man was sentenced Monday to three years in prison for his role in an October 2021 shooting in that village that left a 16-year-old girl injured.
Champaign County Judge Randy Rosenbaum handed down the sentence after William D. Gray, 39, of the 1300 block of Abram Drive pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a weapon.
Police connected Gray to an Oct. 18, 2021, shooting near Cheryl and Gleason drives in Rantoul, where gunfire penetrated a home near the shooters’ intended target and hit a 16-year-old girl who was playing the piano in her bedroom in the arm.
Assistant State’s Attorney Dan Taylor said the man who was shot at told police that three men had fired at him from a car outside his house. Police found 23 bullet casings from three different guns on the ground nearby.
Rantoul police Sgt. Jim Schmidt said witnesses reported seeing a group of men on foot who fired at a car that day. They missed, instead hitting the house on Gleason with the 16-year-old inside.
Police arrested Gray in November 2021 as he was coming out of a business. They found a loaded handgun in his pocket, which he was not allowed to possess due to prior felony convictions.
The man who was shot at then identified Gray as one of the three men who were in the car on Oct. 18.
In exchange for his guilty plea, the state dropped its five other charges against Gray. They included three counts of attempted murder and two counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm.
Rosenbaum ordered Monday that Gray serve his three-year sentence concurrently with the six-year sentence he received in February 2023 after pleading guilty to unlawfully possessing the weapon police found on him in November 2021.
Prior to being arrested in that case, Gray had been convicted on two felony robbery charges in California and possession of a weapon by a felon in Kentucky.
As of Monday, he had credit for 721 days already served.