State’s highest court could be asked to reinstate murder conviction in fatal arrow shot case

State’s highest court could be asked to reinstate murder conviction in fatal arrow shot case

Illinois Supreme Court justices may be asked to reinstate a 30-year prison sentence for a Varna man who was convicted of fatally shooting an Oglesby man with a razor-tipped arrow. LaSalle County Public Defender Tim Cappellini said in court today, the appellate prosecutors’ office is asking to appeal a Third District Appellate Court decision that reset the case.

The appellate judges wrote that a jury should have been presented certain evidence that now 27-year old Bradley M. French killed 38-year old Joshua Scaman in self defense in 2015, even if the evidence was weak. The appellate court returned the case to Judge H. Chris Ryan for a new trial. The case isn’t on the trial schedule yet, because the process of appealing to the state’s highest court has only just begun. Otherwise, Judge Ryan may have scheduled a trial during the case update this morning.

During the murder trial, prosecutors said French drove all the way from Varna to Oglesby with a weapon to look for Scaman after Scaman had allegedly harassed a woman French knew. French’s attorneys said he defended himself in an early morning confrontation in an Illinois Valley Community College parking lot. Prosecutors contended that driving so far with a weapon destroys a self defense claim because it shows French went out looking for the trouble he found.

Pictured: Bradley French, Illinois Dept. of Corrections picture