Repeat Weapon Offender Convicted Of Possession Case after Jury Trial; Second Case Remains Pending in Court

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Lake County State's Attorneys Office


September 8, 2023


For Immediate Release
Contact: Sara Avalos
(224) 374-2376

Repeat Weapon Offender Convicted Of Possession Case after Jury Trial

Second Case Remains Pending in Court 

Carnell Wesson

Carnell Wesson

(Lake County, IL) On Thursday, September 7, 2023, a jury trial concluded in Lake County with “guilty” verdict on armed habitual criminal charges.  

Carnell Wesson, 30, was convicted on one count of Armed Habitual Criminal, class X felony and one count of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by Felon, a class 2 felony. Wesson is facing a sentencing range of 6 to 30 years.  

In March 2022, Zion Police conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle where Wesson was a passenger. Wesson failed to follow police orders during the traffic stop and instead entered a nearby home. A search was conducted on the vehicle and police located two firearms under the driver's seat. While officers were still on the scene, Wesson eventually came out of the home and officers took him into custody.  

The trial began on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, lasting three days. The jury heard from several State witnesses, including law enforcement officers who testified that prior to approaching the vehicle, they observed the backseat passenger, later identified as Wesson, appear to reach into the front area of the vehicle and hand something to the driver. Forensic experts explained how the DNA found on one of the firearms collected by police was a match to Wesson.  

When Wesson was first charged in March 2022, he was able to post $15,000 cash in order to be released from custody. While out on bond, Wesson is accused of participating in a shooting in December 2022. Wesson was arrested for that incident in February 2023, and faces the Class 1 offense of Aggravated Discharge of a Weapon. 

After the verdict, Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said, “We appreciate the effective work of the Zion Police Department and the Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Lab. Once again, our prosecutors were able to turn a successful investigation into a “guilty” verdict. We also see from these two cases that using a cash bond system makes our communities less safe. Under the SAFE-T Act, we would have sought detention for the March 2022 incident, and he could not have committed the December 2022 shooting had detention been ordered.” 

During this trial, Wesson was held at the Lake County Jail on a $1.25 million bond.  

After the verdict, Judge Lombardo revoked Wesson’s ability to post bond. A status hearing is scheduled for October 16, 2023.  


Lake County State's Attorney's Office
18 N. County Street
Waukegan, IL 60085  
Phone: (847) 377-3000