Murder charge dropped for man in 2020 Carpentersville case
A Tennessee man pleaded guilty to a gun charge Tuesday in connection with the murder of a Carpentersville man nearly two years ago.
In exchange, Kane County prosecutors dropped charges of first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery against Joel Leitner, 24.
Leitner was one of three men charged with the murder of 27-year-old Jordan Durr in what authorities alleged was a drug deal gone bad on June 8, 2020, in a parking lot of the Fox View Apartments on the 0-100 block of Oxford Road.
Leitner pleaded guilty to aggravated unlawful use of a weapon for having a loaded 9 mm handgun uncased and immediately accessible. He did not have an Illinois Firearm Owner's Identification card or a concealed-carry license, Assistant State's Attorney Ryan Merkel told Judge John Barsanti.
Devon Coleman, 19, of East Dundee and Phillip Walker, 19, of Carpentersville were also charged with murder and attempted armed robbery. A jury acquitted Walker. Barsanti convicted Coleman of murder and sentenced Coleman to 20 years in prison.
In an application for a search warrant, police said they found a .40-caliber pistol and an open wallet near Durr's body, and 27 small bags of heroin and other drugs on it. They also said they saw the three men standing near Leitner's car at the scene.
Before he surrendered, Leitner put a 9 mm handgun on the ground, police said.
Durr died of a single shot to his heart and a lung. A 9 mm bullet was recovered from Durr's body.
Leitner's cellphone was open to a map application showing he had driven from the 600 block of River Haven Drive in East Dundee to Oxford Road. Coleman lived on the 600 block of River Haven.
Police said a surveillance video from nearby Dundee-Crown High School showed the men running away from Leitner's car, returning to it, then walking over to Durr's body and "manipulating" it several times, according to the search warrant application.
At a bail-reduction hearing in 2020, one of Leitner's attorneys argued Durr reached into Leitner's car while he was in it and snatched the keys. If Leitner fired a gun, it might have been to defend himself, the attorney argued.
Leitner accepted a sentence of five years in prison. He will have to serve at least half that before being eligible for parole and received credit for 701 days he has been in jail since his arrest.