Urbana woman gets 9 years for shooting neighbor through apartment door

Sep. 22—URBANA — An Urbana woman who shot a neighbor through the door of an apartment in that city a year ago has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Latoya Dillon, 50, who was living in the 2000 block of Philo Road, pleaded guilty in July to aggravated battery with a firearm and was sentenced Tuesday by Judge Randy Rosenbaum.

Dillon admitted that on July 24, 2022, she fired the gun that struck a then-30-year-old woman in the right side of her torso.

Urbana police Lt. Mike Cervantes testified that because the shot hit a major vein that carries blood to the heart, the woman was critically injured.

He also told the judge that the door to the apartment through which Dillon shot was closed and that there were other people present in the complex when the shooting happened about 2 a.m. Police found a 9 mm casing near where the shooter fired.

The victim identified Dillon, a neighbor whom she recognized, as the shooter.

Cervantes said police obtained a search warrant for Dillon's apartment and found a box for a 9 mm gun along with about 19 grams of a substance suspected to be heroin. A charge alleging she possessed heroin for sale was dismissed as part of her plea, as was a charge of unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

Cervantes said that when police found Dillon 10 days later and questioned her about where the gun was, she replied that it was at the bottom of Lake Michigan.

Assistant State's Attorney Chris McCallum, who had agreed at the time of Dillon's plea to ask for no more than 15 years, sought that term, while Dillon's attorney, Public Defender Janie Miller, asked for the minimum of six years. The maximum she could have received was 30 years.

Court records show Dillon has previous convictions for burglary, aggravated battery and obstructing justice.

Rosenbaum gave her credit on her sentence for 414 days served. Under truth-in-sentencing laws, Dillon must serve 85 percent of her sentence, or about 7.5 years.