A Lake Villa Township man charged with shooting a neighbor while showing off his handguns almost a year ago is set to go to trial Sept. 15, Lake County officials said Thursday.
Frank Geu, 45, of the 36000 block of North Alice Drive, was charged with aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm after the Sept. 14 shooting in the victim's garage.
Geu also faces two counts of reckless discharge of a firearm, prosecutors said.
Defense attorney Donald Morrison said during a pretrial hearing Thursday that witnesses will testify the shooting was called an accident by the victim and others immediately after it occurred. Morrison said opinions of what took place changed only after Geu posted the required 10 percent of his $25,000 bail and was released from Lake County jail.
Geu, who lives in unincorporated Venetian Village, was drinking with the victim inside the victim's garage when the two began talking about guns, authorities said. During the conversation, Geu went home and returned with two fully loaded, semiautomatic handguns to show the victim, authorities said.
Geu handed the guns to the victim, and the victim unloaded the weapons for inspection, authorities said. After the victim returned the unloaded guns to Geu, Geu reloaded one weapon, pointed it at the victim and pulled the trigger, authorities said.
The victim was taken to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville for surgery.
Morrison said in previous hearings he intends to call witnesses who spoke with the victim to shed light on whether the shooting was an accident or intentional.
Prosecutors and Morrison tried to negotiate a plea deal before trial, but could not come to terms, both sides said.
If found guilty of aggravated battery with a firearm, Geu could be sentenced to 6 to 30 years in prison, prosecutors said. Reckless discharge of a firearm could put Geu behind bars for 1 to 3 years.