Covering the Land of Lincoln

Normal woman among 2 charged with buying gun used to kill Champaign officer

PEORIA — Two women are accused of illegally purchasing the firearm that was used to kill Champaign police officer Chris Oberheim last year.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment Oct. 4 charging Regina Lewis, 27, of Normal and Ashantae S. Corruthers, 28, of Indianapolis with conspiracy to illegally purchase and transfer a firearm and conspiracy to engage in misleading conduct, according to a statement released Friday by the US Attorney’s Office in Peoria.

The indictment, which was unsealed Friday, alleges Lewis and Corruthers conspired with Darion M. Lafayette to purchase and transfer a firearm to him.

Oberheim, a former Decatur officer, was fatally shot May 19, 2021, after responding to a domestic disturbance at a Champaign apartment complex.

Footage from Champaign police body-worn cameras shows 24-year-old Lafayette shot Oberheim three times. Lafayette was shot and killed by another Champaign officer, whom Lafayette also struck with gunfire.



Oberheim

Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz said she concluded Lafayette’s death was a justified use of force.

Lafayette could not have purchased the firearm because he had previously been convicted of felony offenses, federal prosecutors said.

The indictment alleges that Corruthers bought a 9mm semi-automatic pistol and ammunition from a licensed seller in Indianapolis, at the direction of Lewis and Lafayette, and “falsely certified on an ATF form that she was the actual buyer of the firearm, when in fact , she purchased the firearm for Lafayette and transferred it to him.”

Prosecutors also accuse Corruthers and Lewis of conspiring with Lafayette to cover up the discovery of their illegal firearm purchase and transfer by having Corruthers report to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in April 2021 that it had been stolen the previous month.

About 23 days after the false report, Lafayette used that firearm to shoot 44-year-old Oberheim, according to the US Attorney’s Office.



Darion Marquise Lafayette

Lafayette

The indictment also indicates Corruthers and Lewis agreed to have Corruthers lie to an ATF special agent who was investigating the officer’s death, telling them she bought the gun for herself, it was stolen and she did not know Lafayette.

Both women were arrested on these charges Thursday and appeared in federal court in Peoria on Friday. They are being temporarily detained pending their detention hearing to be held Wednesday.

If convicted, Corruthers and Lewis each face up to 25 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

PHOTOS: Family, friends gather in Decatur for fallen officer’s funeral

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois were represented at the service.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur on Wednesday, May 26.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Police officers from across the Midwest were on hand to pay their respects to Chris Oberheim during a funeral at Maranatha Assembly of God Church. It was on May 26, the day of the funeral, that Oberheim’s wife and daughters decided to make something good come out of the tragedy.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

Mourners attend the service for Officer Chris Oberheim at Maranatha Assembly of God Church in Decatur, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


CLAY JACKSON, HERALD & REVIEW

Chris Oberheim funeral

People walk up the flag line drive the burial site of Champaign Police Officer Christopher Oberheim at Monticello Cemetery in Monticello, Illinois, on Wednesday, May 26, 2021.


ROBIN SCHOLZ, THE NEWS GAZETTE

Chris Oberheim funeral

Cheryl and Dick Wetherell of Monticello, wait along the funeral procession route for Slain Champaign Police Officer Chris Oberheim in Monticello, Illinois. Their neighbors placed a patriotic wreath along the road in honor of the Oberheim family and other police officers.


Donnette Beckett


Chris Oberheim funeral

A State Police motorcycle contingent escorts the hearse down State Street in Monticello to the cemetery during the procession and burial of Champaign Police Officer Christopher Oberheim.


ROBIN SCHOLZ, THE NEWS GAZETTE

Chris Oberheim funeral

A family stands at attention Wednesday as the hearse carrying the earthly remains of Champaign Police Officer Christopher Oberheim passes along State Street in Monticello, Illinois.


ROBIN SCHOLZ, THE NEWS GAZETTE

Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.

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