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Suspect In Shooting Near U Of I Charged With Murder

Champaign Police

The suspect in a shooting  last weekend at a party near the University of Illinois campus was charged with murder Friday afternoon.  18-year-old Robbie Patton was arraigned in Urbana. Patton appeared by video from the Champaign County Jail and barely spoke as the charges against him were read. Patton answered ``yes sir'' several times as a judge asked him whether he understood the charges. Patton was assigned a lawyer to represent him. 

Patton unexpectedly turned himself in at the Champaign County Jail Thursday night.

Patton was wanted for murder and aggravated battery for firing shots during a fight outside an apartment building in the area known as Campustown.  The gunfire wounded three people and killed George Korchev of Mundelein. 

Champaign was the site of several shootings over the past few years. But this incident attracted statewide attention for occurring just blocks from the U of I campus. Campus Police Chief Jeff Christensen emphasized efforts to keep the area safe.

“We truly have a very tight-knit Illinois family," he said.  "It’s important that we support each other, help each other heal and make it loud and clear that we do not tolerate this kind of violence in our community."  

Champaign Police are taking the lead in investigating the shooting, which was part of an altercation late Saturday night that started in an apartment party, and moved outside to a parking lot.


Police think the gunshots may have been in reaction to an incident just minutes earlier, in which a male victim was beaten unconscious.


Around a hundred people were in the parking lot during both incidents, and police are asking eyewitnesses to step forward with information.

(information from the Associated Press contributed to this article)