SYCAMORE – A trial date could be coming for a DeKalb man charged with fatally shooting a 33-year-old man 13 times over an alleged marijuana deal in March.
Prosecutors allege that Romel A. Hollingsworth Jr., 20, of the 800 block of Russell Road fired multiple bullets that killed Carl Auston during a midday shooting near the entrance of a University Village apartment in the 800 block of Normal Road March 19, according to DeKalb County court documents.
Hollingsworth has been held at DeKalb County Jail in Sycamore without a chance of bail after bond was denied to him by Circuit Court Judge Joseph Pedersen March 24.
He’s charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death. If convicted, Hollingsworth could face a life sentence in jail.
Prosecutor Suzanne Collins of the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office said in a recent hearing that her team has collected hundreds of pages of discovery in the case, and handed it over to Hollingsworth’s defense attorney, Sycamore-based lawyer Brian Erwin in anticipation of a pending trial.
“Judge, by the next court date hopefully I’ll have some more disks and I’ll see here the lab work is,” Collins told Pedersen Thursday. “We have some lab work back but there’s quite a bit of things that were sent to the state police crime lab.”
Collins said the prosecution team has shared 817 items, included a disk of evidence in the case, and expects to hand over more. Erwin acknowledged Thursday that he’s received the evidence.
“Once the discovery is tendered and Mr. Erwin’s had a chance to review it, then we can address whether there’s going to be any pretrial motions and then we can set a trial date,” Pedersen said.
Hollingsworth is next ordered to appear for a status hearing at 10:30 a.m. June 22.
Prosecutors allege that Hollingsworth fired about two dozen rounds during the shooting. Austin died from multiple gunshot wounds, including 13 gunshot wounds he suffered during the incident causing 20 bullet holes in his body, court records show.
“[The] defendant also admitted that he probably emptied his clip before the victim even hit the ground,” prosecutors wrote in court documents presented in court March 24.
Austin suffered wounds to his heart, lungs, head and colon, and had internal hemorrhaging, prosecutors said.
At the time of the DeKalb shooting, prosecutors said Hollingsworth had a pending Cook County case for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon involving a firearm with a high-capacity magazine.
Hollingsworth reportedly spoke to police during an interview after the incident and alleged that Austin had pulled a gun on him. Hollingsworth told police he feared he was about to be robbed by Austin, according to court records.
Austin, of the 900 block of Hillcrest Drive, DeKalb, was found by DeKalb police lying on the ground outside the apartment building without a pulse. He was taken to Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Witnesses reportedly told DeKalb police that they saw a man with dreadlocks – who prosecutors allege is Hollingsworth – shooting at a victim as he lay on the ground, continuing to discharge the gun until it stopped, according to court records.
During a warrant search of Hollingsworth’s apartment, police found a 40-caliber Glock 22 with an extended magazine that held 22 rounds, according to court records. DeKalb police said the gun had been reported stolen. The extended magazine was empty when police found it, court records show. Police reportedly found 40-caliber shell casings on the ground where the shooting happened.