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Owner of Vehicle Seized After IL Shooting Seeks Recourse

pexels-raduz-54546-300x199The owner of the vehicle involved in the shooting and wounding of a Joliet, IL bouncer on December 13 is now trying to reclaim his seized car by the State Attorney.

Bryson Lee Carter, 26, resident of Iowa Avenue, was arrested in connection to the non-fatal shooting of a man working as bouncer at Anthony’s Pub & Restaurant. The 2017 silver Chevrolet Malibu used during the shooting is registered under Carter’s name. However, Carter told police that one of his passengers shot at the bouncer, sources indicate. 

The vehicle owner has been formally charged with aggravated battery, discharging a gun, and aggravated discharge of a gun into an occupied vehicle. He remains in Will County Jail on a $500,000 bail. 

After the arrest, police immediately impounded his vehicle and asked a judge to declare it a forfeited asset. The Will County’s State’s Attorney’s Office has called on the court to allow the police to sell the said vehicle at a public auction, have it destroyed, or have it delivered to a police agency. 

Illinois’ civil asset forfeiture laws allow the government to permanently seize a private property on the basis that said property is associated with a crime. However, a new civil asset forfeiture law passed in July 2018 specifies that “the property owner no longer bears the burden of proving their innocence; instead, the burden of proving the person’s guilt will rest with the government.” The new law has also removed the requirement of having property owners pay a “cost bond” before their case can be heard by a judge.

The asset forfeiture complaint filed against the vehicle’s owner revealed the details of the shooting incident on December 13. The victim, a 37-year old bouncer at Anthony’s Pub & Restaurant was driving from work along Interstate 55 when Carter, who was driving two passengers in his silver Chevy, followed the truck.

Someone in the sedan then reportedly shot at the victim. After the shooting, the victim parked his truck and called 911. He reportedly suffered wounds in his arm and back.

According to police, hours before the shooting, two young men were thrown out of the pub after a disagreement with the bouncers. A review of the ID scanning machine at the establishment and CCTV cameras led to the identification of the accused as one of the men thrown out of the pub.

The vehicle’s owner has since identified the two other men involved in the crime, including the one he says shot the victim, sources say. However, police have not filed any criminal charges against them as of this writing. In the meantime, a hearing on the civil forfeiture complaint to seize his Chevy is set for March 10.

The defendant earlier rejected the services of Will County Public Defender’s Office for his criminal defense and asked Will County Circuit Judge Vincent Cornelius to allow him to be his own attorney. However, on February 10, a Joliet attorney. appeared before the court as the counsel of record for the defense. Because of asset forfeiture laws, even if he is declared innocent, he may very well still lose his vehicle. 

Nationwide Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Attorney

Have federal agents taken your property using asset forfeiture, leaving you at a loss? Contact Brian Silber, P.A. to set up a free initial consultation and get help from a nationwide federal civil asset forfeiture attorney.

Source: 2.16.21 IL Shooting Car Seized

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