Trials pending for suspects in Boulder Hill drive-by shooting that claimed two lives

Brown/Handley mug shots

YORKVILLE – The wheels of justice may turn slowly, but they are in gear and moving steadily ahead toward separate trials for two men charged in a Boulder Hill drive-by shooting that left two women dead.

One of the defendants, James E. Brown, Jr., made a brief appearance in a Kendall County courtroom before Presiding Judge Robert Pilmer on Aug. 22.

Brown, 28, of North Aurora, along with Jaquarance Handley, 33, of Joliet, each have been indicted on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm.

In what police described as an attempted gangland hit, the two allegedly used an AR-15 assault rifle to shoot into a home on Sierra Road in the unincorporated Boulder Hill subdivision late on the morning of Nov. 11, 2020, resulting in the death of two women.

Cassandra Chatman died shortly afterward at a nearby hospital, while her grown daughter, Changina Chatman, succumbed to her injuries several months later.

The intended target of the shooting escaped, Kendall County Sheriff Dwight Baird said.

Brown and Handley were arrested within hours of the shooting and have remained in custody at the Kendall County jail on $2 million bond.

Handley will go to trial early in February of next year.

In court on Aug. 22, Pilmer established a final trial setting date of Sept. 26 for Brown.

Meanwhile, Handley has been accumulating additional charges while confined in the Kendall County jail.

He has already been found guilty of aggravated battery to a corrections officer in connection with a 2021 incident in which he threw human excrement at a jail guard.

A jury found Handley not guilty on another aggravated battery charge alleging that he spit at a guard.

Handley has been charged 10 times, for aggravated battery or criminal damage to property since arriving in the jail, according to the Kendall County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Baird said Handley has repeatedly smeared human waste on the walls of his jail cell.

Handley will face trial on another aggravated battery charge on Nov. 9, courthouse sources said.