State Sen. Donne Trotter due in court Wednesday - FOX 35 News Orlando

Ill. Sen. Donne Trotter`s gun case to continue in January

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

State Senator Donne Trotter was in court Wednesday morning, facing charges for allegedly trying to board a plane carrying a gun. The hearing was continued, over Trotter's objections.

Prosecutors asked that the case be continued until Jan. 17, so they can present the evidence to a grand jury, rather than doing it at the preliminary hearing Wednesday. Trotter did not enter a plea at the hearing.

Trotter's attorney Tom Durkin said the delay shows that prosecutors are treating the state senator differently than a typical defendant, in what should have been a routine case.

Trotter is running to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Illinois' 2nd congressional district.

He was arrested at O'Hare last Wednesday with an unloaded handgun in his garment bag, as he arrived for a flight to Washington D.C. His attorney said at the hearing that Trotter forgot the gun was there, and that ought to be enough to get the charges tossed.

Trotter was licensed to carry the gun because he works for a security company.

After the continuance Wednesday, Trotter said his arrest and the surrounding publicity haven't altered his plans to run for Jackson's seat.

"Unfortunately one of our greatest champions, Jesse Jackson Jr., has resigned, and there has been a void," Trotter said. " I believe that my credentials and my work in that community makes me highly qualified for that position."

"I think the state was smart to avoid a preliminary hearing for fear of losing," Durkin said.

Durkin said the law was changed in 2010, to add a requirement that the defendant knew he was carrying a weapon - and that Trotter forgot he was carrying the .25 caliber handgun with a 6-bullet clip in his black carry-on bag.

Trotter wouldn't discuss the charges against him with the media.

The 62-year-old Democrat is charged with a Class 4 felony, which carries a sentence of 1 to three years in prison if he's convicted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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