March 12 trial scheduled for Trotter on gun charge

January 17, 2013

File
State Sen. Donne Trotter.

A Cook County judge has ruled there is enough evidence against an Illinois state senator to take his case to the next level. State Sen. Donne Trotter is accused of trying to take a gun through O’Hare Airport security.

The Chicago Democrat had been seeking his party's nomination to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress, but dropped out of the race after these charges were brought.

Trotter’s attorney, Tom Durkin, said Trotter didn’t mean to try to take the gun through security.

"We don't penalize people for doing things unknowingly except in rare crimes like polluting a river or something," Durkin said.

Durkin says the gun was very small and could fit in the palm of a hand. During the court proceeding, Durkin questioned Chicago police officer Vince Bielicki about how hard it was to find the gun in the bag.

"It was in an outside bag. He clearly didn’t know it was there," Durkin told reporters after the hearing. "You wouldn’t know it was there by packing it and you heard the officer say that he still - the word ‘still’ was used - that he didn’t know it was still in there."

Bielicki testified that Trotter cooperated with airport security.

Trotter did not speak during the court proceeding and he would not comment to reporters.

Illinois’ state constitution prohibits anyone convicted of a felony from holding public office.