A downstate man has been convicted for trying to kill a police officer after a drug deal.
Leamon R. Cavitt Jr., 47, of the 1600 block of North 36th Street, East St. Louis, IL, was convicted late Thursday, March 17, 2016, by a Kane County jury, of attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer, a Class X felony, attempted first-degree murder, a Class X felony, unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class X felony, unlawful possession of a controlled substance, a Class 1 felony, aggravated battery to a peace officer, a Class 2 felony, three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, each a Class 3 felony, and aggravated fleeing and eluding, a Class 4 felony.
Prosecutors presented evidence that the afternoon of Jan. 17, 2012, Cavitt arrived at a restaurant parking lot in the 1600 block of Ravine Lane, Carpentersville, to follow through on an arrangement to purchase one kilogram of cocaine. The deal had been arranged by the co-defendant in the case. Cavitt provided $30,000 to the co-defendant, who carried it to the sellers, two undercover police officers. Cavitt remained in his parked car.
Once the co-defendant took possession of the kilogram of cocaine on Cavitt’s behalf, police signaled for the arrest to proceed, and an unmarked police vehicle pulled behind Cavitt’s car. Cavitt put his car in reverse and rammed into the police vehicle at high speed as an officer was exiting, striking and injuring the officer. Cavitt then went forward at high speed, forcing an officer to jump out of the way to avoid being run over and killed.
Cavitt left the scene at a high speed, driving over a curb and bushes and down an embankment. Police pursued Cavitt at high speeds through multiple jurisdictions until Cavitt surrendered in Itasca. Multiple officers, fearing for their safety and the safety of their fellow officers, fired their weapons at Cavitt during the incident, striking him and injuring him.
Circuit Judge John A. Barsanti set Cavitt’s next court appearance for 1:30 p.m. April 28, 2016, for motions and sentencing. Cavitt faces a sentence of between 20 and 80 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Cavitt remains in custody at the Kane County jail, where he has been held since his arrest in lieu of $2 million bail. Bond was revoked upon conviction.
“Violence related to the illicit narcotics trade isn’t confined to large, urban areas. Even in Kane County, police officers face grave risks when they try to interrupt the trade,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said. “Fortunately, the officers involved were not seriously hurt.”
“Thanks to the Carpentersville, Streamwood, Addison and Schaumburg police departments, as well as the Illinois State Police, for their work and assistance in this investigation and trial. Thanks to the prosecution team of Kane County Assistant State’s Attorneys Kelly M. Orland and Nicholas Gaeke for their fine work,” McMahon said.
The charges against the co-defendant are not proof of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
SOURCE: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office news release