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Truedson pleads not guilty to aggravated unlawful use of weapon

Standoff suspect’s jury trial slated for June 24

PRINCETON — The man police negotiated with for nine hours during a standoff situation in Princeton on March 15 entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment in Bureau County Court on Friday afternoon.

Erik Truedson, 47, is still in custody on a $100,000 bond, with 10 percent to apply. He still faces only one charge of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, a Class 4 felony.

If convicted, Truedson could serve a possible maximum 30 months’ probation or 1-3 years in prison, with one year parole time. He may also be ordered to pay court fees and fines of up to $25,000.

Truedson is being represented by Bureau County Public Defender Mick Henneberry.
Bureau County Assistant State’s Attorney Thomas Briddick stood in for State’s Attorney Geno Caffarini during the arraignment hearing.

Following the hearing, Briddick confirmed an investigation into the standoff incident is still ongoing. So far, no further charges against Truedson have been filed.

Truedson’s pre-trial date was set for 2 p.m. June 7, and a jury trial was set for 9 a.m. June 24.

When Bureau County Judge C.J. Hollerich asked Truedson on Friday if those dates would work for him, Truedson commented that they seemed “a little far away.”

Hollerich explained to Truedson that preparing for a trial takes time.

Truedson replied: “This is brand new to me. I know nothing about any of this.”

The standoff between Truedson and police began in the early morning hours of March 15. Police were dispatched around 4 a.m. to the area of First and Hudson streets for a man with a gun.

Police ended up chasing Truedson into his home at 625 N. First St., where he stayed and refused to surrender to police. The Illinois Valley Special Response Team was called in to handle the crisis. Truedson barricaded himself inside with multiple weapons, according to police.

After hours into the standoff, shortly after police shot tear gas into the home, the structure caught fire. Princeton Police Chief Tom Kammerer said police believe Truedson set the fire to his own home.

When conditions inside the home became too hot, Truedson finally walked out of the front door, but resisted police as they took him into custody.

Truedson received treatment at OSF St. Anthony Burn Unit in Rockford before he was transported to the Bureau County Jail three days later.

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