A man accused of shooting at an occupied vehicle took a plea deal Thursday, halting his Rock Island County trial the day testimony was expected to begin.
Fredrick Gay, 38, Rock Island, was charged in 2017 with aggravated discharge of a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to Rock Island County court records. Authorities contend Gay shot at an occupied vehicle on Aug. 15, 2017, and was carrying a .22-caliber rifle despite having a felony conviction.
Testimony in Gay's trial on the allegations was expected to begin Thursday, but instead he entered an Alford plea to the aggravated discharge of a firearm charge. A person making an Alford plea does not admit guilt but acknowledges a conviction is likely at trial.
The felon in possession of a weapon charge was dismissed.
Gay was sentenced by Judge Norma Kauzlarich to 24 months of probation after he waived a presentence investigation, which provides a profile of a defendant that can be used by the judge as a guide while determining what sentence to impose.
According to Moline Police, the Aug. 15 incident began with a complaint about a violation of an order of protection in Bettendorf with the victim following the alleged violator of the order — identified by police as Gay — into Moline and calling 911.
Gay is accused of exiting his vehicle in the area of 7th Street and 19th Avenue in Moline and firing a gun at the victim before running west toward 20th Avenue, police said.
A police detective spotted Gay and pursued him until Gay ran into a residence in the 500 block of 20th Avenue, police said. The detective stayed outside until more officers arrived; when Gay left the residence a short time later he was arrested.
At Thursday's the hearing, Kauzlarich said the alleged victims of the incident have not cooperated with authorities.
Gay's plea was done outside of the presence of the jury. When it was finished, Kauzlarich brought the jury in and released its members from duty.