Share This Page

Illinois lawmaker with gun in luggage out on bail

| Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 8:26 p.m.

CHICAGO — A veteran Illinois state senator charged with trying to board a flight with a gun and ammunition in a carry-on bag was released on bail Thursday.

A Cook County judge set bond at $25,000 for state Sen. Donne Trotter, who recently announced he was running for Jesse Jackson's old seat in Congress. Trotter's defense attorney argued for reasonable bail, citing Trotter's decades of public service and 26-year marriage.

“He's lived a life dedicated to serving the people of Illinois,” defense attorney Joshua Herman said.

Trotter was released from custody a short time later. The Chicago Democrat refused to answer reporters' questions before walking away from the courthouse.

Trotter was going through security at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Wednesday when Transportation Security Administration officers found during routine X-ray screening an unloaded handgun in an outside zippered pocket of his garment bag. Also found was a magazine clip with six bullets.

The 62-year-old father of four was charged with a Class 4 felony, which carries a sentence of one to three years in prison if he is convicted.

After being stopped at O'Hare, Trotter told officers he uses the .25-caliber Beretta handgun for his job with a security company.

“He did not realize it was still in his bag,” assistant state's attorney Lorraine Scaduto said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.