A Venetian Village man pleaded not guilty in Lake County court Thursday to shooting a neighbor during a night of drinking.
Frank Geu, 44, of the 36000 block of North Alice Drive, faces 30 years in prison if convicted on charges of aggravated discharge of a firearm, aggravated battery with a weapon and reckless discharge of a firearm that endangered the life of others, Assistant State's Attorney Scott Hoffert said.
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Geu remains free from jail after posting 10 percent of his $25,000 bail. He is due back in court Nov. 26.
Defense attorney Donald Morrison said during Geu's arraignment hearing that this was not a typical "run-of-the-mill shooting" and that more investigation is needed before a trial could begin.
"Frank feels terrible for what happened," Morrison said afterward. "He is thankful to learn that (the victim) is back on his way to recovery."
Geu, whose lives in unincorporated Venetian Village about two miles south of the Lake Villa border, was arrested at his home after shooting the neighbor about 9 p.m. Sept. 14, authorities said.
Geu was drinking with the victim inside the neighbor's garage when the two began talking about guns, authorities said. Geu left the garage, went home and returned with two fully loaded, semiautomatic handguns to show the victim, authorities said.
The victim unloaded the guns when inspecting them, authorities said, then returned the unloaded firearms to Geu. After the victim turned his back, authorities said, Geu loaded one weapon, pointed it at the victim, and pulled the trigger.
The victim was hit in the side of the body near the rib cage, authorities said, but was able to retreat inside his home to call for help.
He was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville for surgery, authorities said. Hoffert said the victim has since been released from the hospital and is recovering.
Geu was also arrested and charged two days after the shooting with a misdemeanor count of violating the order of protection by being in his own home, Hoffert said.
Following the shooting, Hoffert explained the victim obtained an order of protection preventing Geu from coming within 500 feet of him, his family and home. That 500-foot barrier also prevents Geu from being at his own residence, Hoffert said.
Geu's trial is tentatively scheduled begin on March 10.