GENESEO — A Colona man will see a reckless conduct charge based on a shooting move forward in Henry County Circuit Court following a preliminary hearing Monday.
Donald W. Clevenger, 54, was charged Jan. 15 with the Class 4 felony based on an incident earlier that day at his home.
According to testimony from Detective Sergeant Josh Verscheure, police responded to Clevenger's 911 call advising someone had been shot. The victim was initially taken by ambulance to Illini Hospital and later to OSF St. Francis in Peoria. Verscheure said the victim described his injury as “like a compound fracture” of his left arm. Verscheure said he was shown an X-ray at Illini, which showed fragmentation as if something had gone through both pieces of bone.
Verscheure said Clevenger told him he knew the victim from the American Legion in Colona, and the victim said he was having a hard time with post traumatic stress disorder from a deployment to Afghanistan. Saying both had been drinking, Clevenger told the officer he asked the other to come to his residence because he thought it would help if they fired a gun. There, he retrieved a .45-caliber handgun and in attempting to hand it to the victim, the gun went off. He said he was angry with himself and surprised he had a round in the chamber.
Verscheure said he smelled a strong odor of burnt cannabis, and Clevenger admitted that he smokes cannabis.
The officer said two to three days after the incident, he talked with the victim, who said he had been very intoxicated and for that reason he couldn't remember what happened that day and couldn't remember going to Clevenger's home. He said he had had some form of surgery and would need a follow-up procedure.
Judge Jeffrey O'Connor found probable cause to believe a felony had been committed but noted “negligence is not a criminal matter. Recklessness is, so that's what a jury is for.” A March 20 pre-trial conference was set. Clevenger is free on $2,500 bond posted Jan. 16.