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Tonica man arrested for Leonore shooting

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 2:47 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013 2:48 p.m. CDT

BETTENDORF, Iowa — A Tonica man is in a Quad Cities jail after being apprehended in connection with a late night shooting on Aug. 18 outside Leonore.

Richard Felton, 28, is being held on two Class X felonies — attempted murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. Both crimes carry a sentence of 6-30 years in prison with no parole.

"Currently the suspect is in the Scott County Jail," said LaSalle County Deputy Dave Wolford. "He will be extradited to the LaSalle County Jail."

Felton is accused of shooting Jeremy Wade, 28, of Grand Ridge in the face at the Sandy Ford Bridge east of Leonore. Wade then fell approximately 40 feet from the bridge into the Vermilion River. He was able to crawl from the river and get help. Wade identified Felton, known as "Merch," to law enforcement officials.

Wade was transferred from St. Mary's Hospital in Streator to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria where he was listed on Aug. 19 in critical condition. Hospital officials refused to discuss his condition on Aug. 20.

Felton was apprehended in Bettendorf, Iowa, on Aug. 19 after authorities were alerted he may be in that area. Felton surrendered without incident, and is being held on a $3 million bond.

Felton has a previous police record. In 2007, Felton pleaded guilty to the Class 3 felony of aggravated battery for stabbing an Ottawa man during a traffic dispute. Although eligible for up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, Felton was placed on probation.

The LaSalle County Sheriff's office would not discuss a possible motive for the shooting or why the two men met on the bridge.

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