CHARLESTON -- A man arrested for having a gun and marijuana found after a reported shooting will serve prison, time he apparently wasn't involved in the shooting.
Braxton J. Johnson was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for his guilty plea to charges of aggravated unlawful use of weapons and possession of cannabis.
Johnson, 22, for whom court records show an address of an apartment at 1436 10th St., Charleston, was one of two men arrested after a report of a shooting in Charleston on Jan. 29.
Police stopped the vehicle that Johnson and another man were in because they thought they might have been involved in the shooting, according to Detective Tony West with the Charleston Police Department.
Though the men were in the apartment near the Family Video store at 909 Lincoln Ave. at the time of the shooting, the investigation didn't show they were involved, West said.
He said the shooter hasn't been identified but a man who was slightly injured was also involved in another shooting incident in the same area in May.
Johnson had a handgun and just more than two pounds of marijuana were found in the vehicle after the January incident, according to records in his case.
Charges he originally faced included armed violence, which would have required a prison sentence of at least 15 years with a conviction.
Those charges were filed on a preliminary basis as required for a bond hearing for Johnson, according to Coles County Assistant State's Attorney Tom Bucher, who prosecuted.
However, Bucher said, the charges to which he pleaded guilty were more appropriate.
Prison time was required for the weapons charge, which accused Johnson of having the gun without a firearms owner's identification card or a concealed carry permit.
Coles County Circuit Judge Brien O'Brien sentenced Johnson, accepting the terms of a plea agreement that Bucher and defense attorney Sean Britton recommended.
The other man charged in connection with the January incident was Brandon L. Hightower, who was reportedly driving the vehicle.
Hightower, 23, whose address on record is in Danville, pleaded guilty in April to a charge of possession of cannabis with intent to deliver. He was sentenced to a type of probation that gives him a chance for no record of a conviction if he completes it successfully.
The other shooting in the area was reported on May 27. It led to the arrest of Kenneth W. Moultrie, who West said was injured during the earlier shooting, and a juvenile suspect.
Moultrie, 22, has been charged with possession of weapons by a felon; five guns were found at the residence, according to Charleston police.
West said the juvenile suspect is also thought to have been involved in a shooting incident in Mattoon.