LEWISTOWN — A rural Avon man who allegedly killed a Fulton County Sheriff's Office deputy last month reportedly said the gun went off by "accident."
Nathan Woodring, 42, had already been arrested and was in handcuffs when he was allegedly overheard by a police officer repeatedly saying the gun went off by itself. That and other details of the June 25 incident in rural Avon came out during a preliminary hearing in Fulton County Circuit Court, where a judge found probable cause to allow the case to continue.
Woodring is facing two counts of first-degree murder for the death of Troy Chisum, who was responding to Woodring's home, 50250 Troy Road, which is about an hour due west of Peoria in rural Avon. If convicted, Woodring faces up to life in prison.
His attorney indicated he might file a change of venue motion that would move the case out of Fulton County. That's usually done when an attorney feels the case has received so much attention that an impartial jury couldn't be seated.
Chisum and three other deputies were responding to Woodring's home that day on a report of a possible assault and dog bite. They were familiar with the address due to prior interactions with Woodring, said Illinois State Police Trooper Matthew Poulter.
State’s Attorney Justin Jochums presented testimony from Poulter and others that outlined briefly what happened from mid-afternoon June 25 until Woodring was arrested the next morning after a 19-hour standoff.
Shortly after 2 p.m., the others had arrived at the scene and were putting on their bulletproof vests when Chisum drove his vehicle around theirs and went to speak to a woman, who was Woodring's mother, in a blue car outside the house, according to court testimony The mother was attempting to drive away. Inside was another woman who was reportedly a friend of Woodring's daughter.
After the car left, Chisum went up to the porch, according to court records, and knocked on the door. Fulton County Sgt. Matthew Watters reportedly told State Police investigators he heard a loud shot, saw Chisum run off the porch, and then heard a second shot, according to court records. According to the Fulton County Coroner's Office, Chisum appeared to have been shot when his back was turned.
When the standoff was complete, three firearms were recovered from the scene, an AK-47 type weapon and two 12 gauge shotguns. Also recovered were both live and spent ammunition.
Later, Woodring's mother, Linda Woodring, told State Police investigators she had spoken to her son earlier that day. He appeared agitated about his daughter and her friends, so she went to the house to bring the woman to Galesburg, according to court records.
Poulter said investigators spoke with another woman in the car, who said she had been staying at the house with Nathan Woodring’s daughter when she was awoken by Woodring. He told her he had pistol-whipped somebody and that his mother was coming to pick her up. The woman indicated while leaving the house that she saw Woodring in possession of a shotgun and what appeared to her to be an AK-47 style weapon.