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BLOOMINGTON — A Bloomington man pleaded not guilty Friday to murder in the June 10 shooting that left two people dead and two others wounded during a party on Orchard Road.

Hammet Brown, 26, was brought to court for a brief arraignment where public defender Ron Lewis entered the not guilty pleas on his behalf. 

A woman in the courtroom wearing a shirt depicting the two victims shouted, "You're going to hell," at Brown as he was escorted from the courtroom. A large group of family members and supporters of the victims attended the hearing.

Brown is charged with killing Taneshiea Brown, 20, and Steven Alexander Jr. 18, as they stood outside a large gathering at 1221 Orchard Road. Kenleia Sims and Tyree Jones also were shot but survived their wounds.

Judge Casey Costigan set an Aug. 1 status hearing in Brown's case.

According to a complaint filed by the state seeking Brown's arrest on murder charges, the suspect lived in the Orchard Road apartment complex and was identified by witnesses within three hours of the shooting. 

Police were told by a concerned citizen that Brown, who also is known as "Law" and is not related to Taneshiea Brown, had been involved in a disagreement with victim Alexander shortly before the shooting, according to the complaint. Alexander has ties to a local hybrid street gang, police said in the complaint.

Assistant State's Attorney Mary Koll filed a source of bail motion on Friday that requires Brown to prove that the money he might use to post the required $300,035 for his release is not related to criminal activity.

Police are still looking for a Bloomington man wanted in connection with a June 18 triple homicide on Riley Drive. Sydney Mays Jr., 19, is charged with killing Corey D. Jackson and Nathaniel A. Pena, both 22, and Juan Perez-Macedo, 33. He also is charged with the attempted murder of a 4-year-old child, identified as Pena's son, who was critically wounded during the shooting at an apartment at 311 Riley Drive, Bloomington.

An April 25 shooting at Lancaster Heights apartments in Normal claimed the lives of Jody Gardner, 20, and Reggie Hart Jr., 19, both of Bloomington. Christopher Harrison, 18, faces murder charges in that case.

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Contact Edith Brady-Lunny at (309) 820-3276. Follow her on Twitter: @pg_blunny


McLean County Courts Reporter

McLean County courts reporter for The Pantagraph.

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