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CHARLESTON -- A second suspect from the fatal shooting of woman in Mattoon earlier this month has been charged with first-degree murder.

Newly filed charges against Shawn D. Adamson accuse him of firing a gun during an armed robbery attempt, an incident that led to the death of Ciara J. Faires at a Mattoon residence on June 18.

Previously, another man accused of a role in the incident, James Todd Shafer, 24, for whom court records list an address of 413 1/2 N. 20th St., Mattoon, was charged with first-degree murder.

Shafer reportedly fired shots through a closed door while he was inside the residence and Adamson and two other suspects were outside.

Faires had just left the residence at 313 S. 21st St., and was also outside and was hit by gunshots, according to court case records. The 23-year-old Charleston woman was later pronounced dead at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center.

Adamson, 33, for whom records list addresses in Kankakee and on Charleston Avenue in Mattoon, is accused of being armed with a gun and going to the South 21st Street residence with the other suspects with plans to rob or confront Shafer.

Coles County State's Attorney Brian Bower said Adamson was charged with first-degree murder because he's allegedly responsible for the incident that eventually caused Faires' death.

Since Adamson was committing a "forcible felony" that led to the fatal shooting, "it doesn't have to be his exact act that causes the death," he explained.

Bower wouldn't comment when asked if authorities believe the shots Shafer fired were the ones that hit and killed Faires.

Police records in Shafer's case say a witness at the residence told police he saw Adamson fire a gun while trying to enter. Records also indicate that Shafer responded by firing shots through the door.

The shootings took place at the home of a friend of Shafer and Faires, the case records say. Faires, who was Shafer's girlfiend, left the residence following an argument with Shafer and the shooting occurred after that, the records say.

Reasons the suspects gave to police of what led to the confrontation are varied, the records indicate. Shafer claimed it was in retaliation for his backing out on a plan to commit a robbery, while others claimed Shafer stole from Adamson or there had been another dispute.

The charges against Adamson and two other suspects accused them of planning to rob Shafer, however. They're charged with attempted armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

The other suspects are Matthew S. Cook, 32, for whom records list addresses on Charleston Avenue in Mattoon and on County Road 800N in rural Coles County, and Kevin W. Johnson, 38, whose address on record is an apartment at 2100 Prairie Ave., Mattoon.

Shafer is scheduled for a court hearing on Thursday to address issues related to his court-appointed attorney. The other three suspects are all scheduled for Monday court appearances.

Allegations in the murder charges against Shafer are that he fired the shots intending to kill Faires or another person, or that he knew that a death was possible.

The minimum sentence for a conviction would be 45 years -- 25 years more than the usual minimum because a gun was used -- while the maximum sentence would be life in prison.

The murder charge against Adamson accuses him of taking part in a crime, armed robbery or mob action that led to Faires' death. A conviction would bring a 40- to 60-year prison term.

The attempted robbery and conspiracy charges against the suspects would also require prison time with a conviction, with the sentence ranging from six to 30 years.

In addition to facing murder charges, Shafer and Adamson are charged with possession of a firearm by a felon.

Shafer and Adamson are jailed with each man's bond set at a level that would require $200,000 to be posted for release. Cook and Johnson are also still in custody and would each have to post $10,000 for release.



Dave Fopay is a reporter for the JG-TC who covers Coles County, the local court system, Charleston schools and more.

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