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Local News

Attorney seeks lower bond in Joliet murder case

A Joliet man arrested and jailed in connection with a shootout in February that led to the death of a 17-year-old has sought to have his $1 million bond lowered.

On Wednesday, Jeff Tomczak, attorney for Rasean Stokes, 18, filed a motion to lower Stokes’ bond to either $10,000 or an amount that is financially feasible for Stokes or his family.

Stokes faces a charge of first-degree murder.

Stokes, Jeremiah Gavin, 22, of Crest Hill, and Javontae Gray, 23, of Joliet, were each arrested in connection with a gun battle on Feb. 7 on Republic Avenue that led to the death of Jeremiah Frazier.

Gray was driving a Chevy Aveo with Frazier during the incident and dropped him off at AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center, about a block away, when Frazier suffered a gunshot wound to the head, according to Joliet police and court records.

Gray was charged with firing at a Pontiac Bonneville occupied by Gavin and Stokes, according to court records. He was also charged with trying to conceal evidence.

Gavin also has been charged with first-degree murder.

Tomczak’s motion argued the $1 million bond set for Stokes is excessive and that if he were released on a lower bail, he would remain in Will County and attend all court appearances.

“The amount of bail previously set is far beyond the financial means of the defendant and/or his family,” the motion said.

Tomczak’s motion also argued prosecutors cannot “meet its burden to provide guilt” in the case as indicated in grand jury transcripts against Stokes.

The bond for Gray was initially set at $2 million but lowered to $750,000. Gray still remains in the Will County jail since his arrest on Feb. 8.

Gray's attorney, Zachary Pollack, said he argued his client has no criminal history and that his bond should be based more on the obstruction charge rather than the aggravated discharge of a firearm charge.

Gavin’s bond was set at $2 million. Court records show that discovery is still pending in his case.

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