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CHARLESTON -- A jury trial is set to start on Monday for the last of four men charged in connection with the 2016 shooting death of Ciara Faires.

The trial date was confirmed Thursday during a hearing in the case against Shawn D. Adamson, 35, who's not accused of shooting Faires but rather of instigating the confrontation that led to what killed her.

His trial would come less than a week after that of James Todd Shafer, who was accused of firing the shot that killed Faires and was convicted of first-degree murder and other offenses.

The plan to have the trials follow one another was because of testimony at both by Dion Dixon, the resident of the apartment where the shooting took place.

Dixon is currently serving a prison sentence in California for a carjacking conviction there. The schedule of the two trials allowed him to remain housed in the Coles County jail for one stretch of time instead of having him returned two different times.

During Thursday's hearing, lead defense attorney Todd Ringel indicated that Adamson declined plea agreement offers from the prosecution and wanted to proceed to trial.

Adamson then persisted in that position after Circuit Judge Matt Sullivan told him that one of the charges against him, first-degree murder, would require a prison sentence of 40 to 80 years if he's convicted.

Ringel and Coles County State's Attorney Brian Bower agreed on the trial's estimated length, saying it will likely take all of next week and continue into the early part of the following week.

Adamson appeared at the hearing in custody of Coles County sheriff's deputies, as he's been jailed since his arrest shortly after the shooting.

Faires was hit by what proved to be a fatal gunshot while standing outside an apartment at 313 S. 21st St., Mattoon, on June 18, 2016.

That's where she and Shafer, 26, had gone to avoid Adamson and others looking for Shafer following his failure to return a gun he received to commit a robbery, according to evidence at the earlier trial.

During what might have been an attempt to confront Shafer, Adamson and two other men showed up at the apartment, the trial evidence showed. One of them, possibly Adamson, fired a gun, leading Shafer to return fire from inside with one shot hitting Faires.

Faires, who was 23 years old and Shafer's girlfriend, had been told to leave the apartment because of an argument, possibly about Shafer's plan to leave the state to keep the other men from finding him, previous testimony indicated.

Shafer testified during the trial and said he and another man went to Adamson's Mattoon residence to get drugs and were recruited for the robbery while they were there.

They were taken to the residence of the target and were given handguns, but then backed out of the robbery and left without returning the guns, Shafer said.

Adamson allegedly recruited the other two men charged in connection with the incident, Matthew S. Cook and Kevin W. Johnson, to help him look for Shafer and retrieve the gun he received.

That plan led to the confrontation at the apartment and to the charges accusing Adamson of responsibility in Faires' death.

The first-degree murder charges against him allege that he took part in the actions that led to her death while committing other crimes: attempted armed robbery and mob action.

Adamson is also charged with attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a weapon by a felon.

Meanwhile, Cook and Johnson both pleaded guilty to reduced charges that, at the time, Bower indicated better reflected their roles in the incident.


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