PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A Central Peoria man faces up to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to second-degree murder charges in connection with a March 2022 shooting.
Chazier Johnson, 24, was to go to trial in Peoria County Circuit Court on charges of first-degree murder in connection with the March 8, 2022, shooting of Timothy Foreman, Jr. but just before, he brokered a deal with prosecutors.
That deal saw the more serious counts of first-degree murder dropped for his plea to second-degree murder — ironically, the charge he was initially booked into the county jail on — as well as a cap on any prison term at 15 years when sentenced on Dec. 20.
The difference is great. First-degree murder carries a 20-to-60-year prison range and one must server 100% if convicted. In contrast, second-degree murder normally has a 20-year maximum and a person is eligible for day for day “good-time” credit which can cut a sentence in half.
It’s also possible that Johnson could get probation as well now whereas probation was not an option with first-degree murder.
Second-degree murder typically occurs when a person believed they had to use deadly force, but that belief was unreasonable. In such cases, self-defense is a common argument.
On March 8, 2022, Peoria police responded to an alert from the ShotSpotter gunfire detection system that indicated eight rounds were fired in the 100 block of West Beverly Court. That’s about a block south of the intersection of Knoxville and McClure avenues.
When officers arrived, they found the victim, later identified as Foreman, lying in the road having been shot.