Woman sentenced in straw purchase of gun used to kill Illinois officer and wound another

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URBANA, Ill. (AP) — A woman has been sentenced to 8 1/2 years in prison after taking part in the straw purchase of a handgun that was used to kill one central Illinois police officer and wound another during a shootout.

Regina Lewis, 28, of Normal, Illinois, engaged in a conspiracy to buy and transfer a firearm and a conspiracy to engage in misleading conduct, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois said Tuesday in a release.

Lewis was sentenced Friday. She previously admitted to conspiring with Ashantae Corruthers and Darion Lafayette to buy the gun in 2020 at an Indianapolis gun store for Lafayette, Lewis’ cousin, who was a convicted felon and could not legally buy a firearm.

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Corruthers falsely certified on a form for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives that she bought the gun for herself. She later reported to Indianapolis police in 2021 that the gun had been stolen.

Lafayette fatally shot Officer Christopher Oberheim and wounded Officer Jeffrey Creel on May 19, 2021, after they responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at an apartment complex in Champaign.

Lafayette was also fatally shot.

Corruthers, who is from Indianapolis, pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to defraud the government by buying and transferring the gun to Lafayette and covering up the transaction by falsely reporting its theft. Her sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 12, 2024.


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