Second-degree murder charges dropped against Peoria man

By WEEK Producer

January 28, 2014 Updated Jan 28, 2014 at 8:28 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. – The Peoria County States Attorney has dropped second-degree murder charges against a man linked to a fatal October shooting.

Kent Irby Jr., 25, had faced up to 20 years in prison.

Irby plead guilty on Monday to reckless discharge of a firearm as part of a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced to six months in jail.

He was credited for time served since his arrest and was released from the Peoria County Jail the same day.

Irby had claimed self defense in the fatal shooting of Carnell Ashford, 31. Ashford was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds in an alley in the 1400 block of NE Perry Avenue on October 11 after police received a report of multiple shots fired the night before.

Peoria County State's Attorney Jerry Brady said Ashford and Irby were involved in a mutual combat with shots being fired back and forth. However, Irby's attorney, Joseph Borsberry, said his client was acting in self defense.

A second man, Cartez Williams, 25, is charged with Second Degree Murder and felony Mob Action in connection with the shooting.

Williams is scheduled for trial in early February.