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Heavy security at Zion convict’s court hearing

Keeven Fullwiley

Keeven Fullwiley

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Updated: February 5, 2013 6:08AM

Six deputies stood inside a Lake County courtroom Thursday with two guarding each door and two standing in close proximity to the Zion convict who previously tried to escape a courtroom on foot after he was found guilty of drug offenses.

Keveen Fullwiley, 35, appeared before Judge George Bridges secured with handcuffs at his wrists and ankles. He was also escorted by two jail guards in addition to the six deputies inside the courtroom.

Fullwiley stood quietly at his arraignment as he pleaded not guilty to aggravated battery through his attorney, Kevin Malia.

Fullwiley was convicted of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and possession of cannabis with intent to deliver, according to court records.

When the jury came back with its verdict Nov. 29, Fullwiley attempted to escape the courtroom and allegedly fought with Lake County sheriff’s deputies in his failed escape. One of the deputies suffered a serious laceration to his right elbow, according to authorities.

Because of Fullwiley’s felony drug convictions, he faces six to 30 years in prison for the aggravated battery charge, Assistant State’s Attorney Matthew DeMartini said. Aggravated battery is normally punishable by four to 15 years in prison, Bridges said.

DeMartini was assigned to prosecute Fullwiley on his new criminal charges. Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Turk is prosecuting Fullwiley on the drug convictions. Fullwiley is awaiting sentencing for the drug convictions.

Zion police found 135.8 grams of cocaine and 304.6 grams of marijuana at Fullwiley’s residence when they executed a search warrant Sept. 3, 2010, according to Turk. Fullwiley faces nine to 80 years in prison for the drug charges.

Malia filed two additional requests before Bridges on Thursday. He asked that a judge from out of Lake County be brought in to preside over the case and also that an out-of-county prosecutor take over prosecuting the aggravated battery case.

The request was made to prevent the appearance of bias against Fullwiley, Malia said. Fullwiley’s escape attempt happened before Associate Judge Christopher Stride and Turk. That means both an assistant Lake County state’s attorney and a Lake County judge are potential witnesses, Malia said.

A hearing before Chief Judge Fred Foreman is scheduled to address Malia’s requests Jan. 8.

Fullwiley is scheduled to go to trial on the aggravated battery charge Feb. 19.

He is in custody at Lake County Jail. His bond was revoked after he was convicted.

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