Aurora man guity of 2017 shooting, but not attempted murder

Updated 1/12/2018 4:33 PM
  • John W. Sperry faces between six and 30 years in prison when sentenced.

    John W. Sperry faces between six and 30 years in prison when sentenced.

A 56-year-old man was found guilty this week of shooting an acquaintance and leading police on a 14-minute chase, but he was acquitted of attempted murder.

A Kane County jury convicted John W. Sperry, of the 300 block of Grant Place, Aurora, of aggravated battery with a firearm and two counts of aggravated fleeing and eluding -- all felonies -- after a four-day trial presided over by Judge John Barsanti.

During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence Sperry drove to the victim's house on the 300 block of Jackson Street at about 4:40 p.m. March 4, 2017.

Sperry argued with the victim and, according to a police affidavit used to secure a search warrant for Sperry's vehicle, shouted "Do you want to die?" before pulling out a .38-caliber handgun and firing a shot that hit the man in the cheek and exited out the back of his head.

The victim, 56, who was Sperry's former roommate at the time, continues to recover, prosecutors said.

Sperry drove off in his 1988 Cadillac Brougham after firing the shot and took police on a chase through the city's east and northeast sides that hit speeds of 70 mph before he struck a utility pole at Claim Street and Lincoln Avenue, prosecutors said.

Sperry was arrested at the scene and witnesses identified him as the shooter, police said.

Sperry faces six to 30 years in prison and he must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence instead of the customary 50 percent for many crimes. He is next due in court Feb. 7 to set a sentencing date.

Sperry had been held at the county jail on $500,000 bail since his arrest, and bail was revoked upon conviction.

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