Bail reduced for suspect in Batavia Steak 'n Shake shooting

  • Terry W. Hunter faces a minimum of 26 years in prison if convicted of the most severe charges.

    Terry W. Hunter faces a minimum of 26 years in prison if convicted of the most severe charges.

 
 
Updated 6/20/2018 4:56 PM

A Kane County judge Wednesday reduced bail from $1 million to $500,000 for an Aurora man accused of opening fire at a drive-through at the Batavia Steak 'n Shake earlier this year.

Terry W. Hunter, 28, of the 1200 block of Yellow Pine Drive, is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and other felonies stemming from a Feb. 20 incident at the restaurant drive-through in which authorities say he yelled at people in a vehicle in front of him and then shot a 17-year-old from Carol Stream in the leg.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The teen was not seriously injured, and Hunter turned himself in to police days later after authorities obtained a warrant and released his photo from a previous arrest.

Defense attorney Shady Yassin on Wednesday argued his client was acting in self-defense after the victim pulled a gun.

"He only responded and fired once he saw a firearm was pulled," Yassin argued to Judge D.J. Tegeler, noting the victim also was a gang member and only suffered a graze wound.

Kane County Assistant State's Attorney Mark Stajdohar objected to the bond reduction, noting Hunter served prison time for a 2012 felony drug conviction and is a gang member.

Outside of court, Yassin acknowledged his client also was a gang member, but noted he turned himself in to authorities. "He was acting in self-defense," Yassin said. "He was responding to what he believed to be a dangerous situation."

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However, according to witness statements in an affidavit used to secure a search warrant after the shooting, Hunter was the aggressor.

According to the victim, another person in the drive-through lane and restaurant manager, Hunter pulled into the drive-up and immediately began honking at the vehicle in front of him.

"What's your problem, bro?" the victim yelled at Hunter, according to the affidavit. The two exchanged words and Hunter pulled his car in front of the victim's vehicle.

The victim, who was in the back seat, and the front seat passenger got out of the car, approached Hunter's car and an argument began. Hunter then drove forward through the parking lot, turned around and began shooting.

The victim took cover behind a lightpole but was hit in the left hamstring, police said. Hunter drove off, striking another vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Yassin was unsure if his client could post the required 10 percent, or $50,000, to be released from jail while the case is pending.

Hunter is next due in court on July 18. If convicted of attempted murder, he faces six to 30 years in prison, plus an additional 20 years for firing the gun.

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