NATIONAL NEWS

Woman pleads guilty to straw purchase of gun used to kill Illinois officer

Jun 22, 2023, 7:00 PM

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A woman pleaded guilty on Thursday to federal charges stemming from the straw purchase of a gun used to fatally shoot one central Illinois police officer and wound another in 2021.

Ashantae Corruthers, 29, of Indianapolis, entered the plea to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the government by buying and transferring a gun to Darion Marquise Lafayette, 24, of Champaign, and covering up the transaction by falsely reporting to Indianapolis police that the gun had been stolen. Lafayette shot Champaign police Officer Christopher Oberheim on May 19, 2021.

Corruthers faces up to 25 years in prison when she is sentenced Nov. 6, The News-Gazette of Champaign reported.

Oberheim and another officer, Jeff Creel, went to a Champaign apartment complex in response to a report about a domestic disturbance and encountered Lafayette. A shootout ensued in which both officers and the suspect were shot.

Lafayette, who also died, was not legally able to buy a gun because he was a convicted felon.

He persuaded co-defendant and cousin Regina Lewis, 28, of Normal, to get Corruthers to buy the gun at an Indianapolis gun store, which she did legally in November 2020, the newspaper reported.

Lewis pleaded guilty in federal court a month ago to the same charges and is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 2.

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