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Normal man pleads not guilty to Jan. 30 homicide outside downtown Bloomington bar

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BLOOMINGTON – A Normal man on Friday pleaded not guilty to murder in the Jan. 30 shooting that left one person dead and another critically injured after an argument outside a downtown Bloomington bar.

Michael Bakana, 42, is charged with three counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, and two counts of aggravated battery and discharge of a firearm.

He is accused of killing Mariah C. Petracca, 22, of Bloomington, and wounding another woman whose identity has not been released, outside Daddios Bar, 527 N. Main St.

Michael Bakana

Michael Bakana, 42, is charged with three counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, and two counts of aggravated battery and discharge of a firearm.

Bakana is represented by defense lawyer Kevin Sanborn of the Bloomington-based Johnson Law Group. McLean County Assistant State’s Attorney Jeff Horve is the assigned prosecutor for the case.

A status hearing was scheduled for April 1 before Judge William Yoder.

Bloomington police were called about 12:46 a.m. Jan. 30 to the 500 block of North Main Street and upon arrival, “officers observed the defendant being detained by civilians,” prosecutors said at a custody hearing.

Petracca was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:35 a.m. The other victim was taken to Carle BroMenn Medical Center in Normal and later transferred to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana for surgery, police said.

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Prosecutors said the shooting was captured on a nearby surveillance camera, which showed Bakana exit Daddios Bar, walk across the street and then return to the sidewalk outside the bar.

“The defendant is then seen getting into an argument with the victims on the sidewalk in front of the bar,” prosecutors said. “The footage showed that during the argument, one of the victims shoved the defendant away from them. The defendant is observed to then remove a firearm from his waistband and shoot eight times.”

Bakana later admitted to the shooting in an interview with Bloomington police, prosecutors said.

His bond was set at $2 million, 10% to apply.

President Joe Biden addressed the Atlanta shootings from the Oval Office Wednesday, just before meeting virtually with Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin.

It was the first reported homicide of 2021 and the third shots-fired incident of the year in McLean County.

Since then, there have been three more shots fired incidents and one homicide.

Natwan Nash, 26, was found dead with several gunshot wounds March 7 in a Bloomington apartment in the 2400 block of Clearwater Avenue.

No arrests have been made in connection to that shooting and an investigation is ongoing, police said.

Anyone with information about the March 7 shooting is asked to contact Bloomington police Det. Jeff Engle at (309) 434-2371, Det. Jared Roth at (309) 434-2379 or the department’s main line at (309) 820-8888.


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