A Cook County judge found probable cause Thursday to pursue felony gun charges against State Sen. Donne Trotter, charged with attempting to bring a firearm onto an airplane in December.
Judge Ann O'Donnell set an arraignment date of March 12, the Sun-Times is reporting.
"This is not a shock," Trotter's attorney, Thomas Durkin, told reporters after the brief hearing.
"This is just the next step in the case. We're not horribly concerned."
Trotter — previously been considered one of the front-runners in the race for 2nd Congressional District seat — dropped out of the race to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. on Dec. 29. He refused to answer reporters' questions after the hearing.
Durkin described the evidence in the case as "favorable."
"The case law is very clear — that you have to prove knowledge" of possessing a gun, and Trotter clearly didn't, Durkin said.
In court, Durkin's questions to the Chicago Police officer who responded to O'Hare were intended to point out that the gun was small — small enough to fit into the palm of a hand — and that Trotter had simply forgotten to remove the gun after working a security job the night before.
A .25-caliber Beretta and an ammunition clip with six live rounds were found in Trotter's carry-on.
Officer Vince Bielicki testified that TSA employees alerted him to "the outlines of a gun" on an X-ray monitor.
Durkin said Trotter made no attempt to hide the gun in a lead case and that the law said Trotter's intent should be taken into account, prompting O'Donnell to respond: "I'm aware of the case law."
© Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC
CHICAGO (AP) - A judge in Chicago has scheduled a March 12 trial date for an Illinois state senator accused of trying to board a flight with a gun and ammunition in his bag.
During a hearing Thursday, Judge Ann O'Donnell found probable cause to continue the case against Donne Trotter. He's facing a felony gun charge after being stopped by security at O'Hare International Airport last year.
Prosecutors say the Chicago Democrat told airport security he uses the handgun for his job with a security company and had forgotten it was in his bag.
After the hearing, defense attorney Thomas Durkin told reporters his client has a good case because the police officer who testified in court said he at first couldn't find the small gun in Trotter's garment bag.
Copyright © 2013 Associated Press