Police found 11 spent bullet casings in the front yard of the victim’s mother’s home, and it took a jury two and a half hours to acquit the man accused of firing the gun.
Charles F. Stokes, of East St. Louis, was acquitted of shooting Jermaine Perkins, 39, of Cahokia, on Sept. 12, 2015. Perkins survived.
“Charles and his family are very relieved and very thankful,” said Stokes’ attorney, Justin Kuehn. “I want to thank my law partner and co-counsel, Derek Siegel, who carried the laboring oar on many of the more difficult duties this week.”
During the trial before St. Clair County Circuit Judge Randy Kelley, Stokes claimed he fired the gun in self-defense.
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Stokes still faces aggravated battery and attempted murder charges for the beating of former East St. Louis Police Officer Brett Rogers, just three days before the Perkins’ shooting.
Stokes and Rogers went to Club Legacy on State Street in East St. Louis when they got into an argument. Police said Stokes and an accomplice, Terrence Clark, beat Rodgers to the point he required hospitalization.
Coincidentally, it was Kuehn’s father, former 5th District Appellate Justice Clyde Kuehn, who wrote the decision affirming Rodgers’ conviction for a shooting at another club in East St. Louis years earlier. Rodgers went to Affirmation East on July 25, 1999, to get its “famed” fried chicken.
“Unfortunately, he arrived with more of an appetite for trouble than poultry, and when security tried to block his admission, things turned foul,” the senior Kuehn wrote.
Rodgers shot a security guard in the leg. He told the jury that he was too intoxicated to know what he was doing. Rodgers was convicted of aggravated battery and armed violence, and was sentenced to eight years in prison.
Justin Kuehn will defend Stokes on the charges related to Rodgers’ battery.
The case is set for a status hearing Oct. 10 before Judge Kelley.
Beth Hundsdorfer: 618-239-2570