Story Summary

State Sen. Donne Trotter charged

Charges were filed against state Sen. Donne Trotter for allegedly trying to bring a gun and ammo aboard a plane. He is running for Jesse Jackson Jr.’s old congressional seat in the 2nd District.

Story Timeline
Previous Next
This story has 8 updates

State Senator Donne Trotter pleaded guilty on Wednesday to trying to board an airplane with a handgun in his carry-on luggage.

Under a plea deal, Trotter was sentenced to a year of court supervision and 60 hours of community service. In exchange for the agreement, prosecutors dropped the original felony charge. A felony conviction could have meant up to three years behind bars.

Trotter tried to bring a .25-caliber Beretta aboard a flight at O’Hare Airport in December. The gun was zipped inside a side pocket of his carry-on bag. He told police he got off work as a security guard, and forgot the gun and ammunition were in his luggage.

At the time of his arrest, he was considered a front-runner to succeed U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.  A few weeks later, he dropped out from contention for the seat.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this story.

State Senator Donne Trotter announced he is dropping out of the race to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr. in Congress.

Trotter was one of the favorites in the race to replace Jackson Jr., who resigned the congressional seat after his re-election November 6th.

Trotter’s congressional hopes derailed December 5th when he was arrested at O’Hare International Airport for trying to take a gun and ammunition onto a plane. He pleaded not guilty to the federal charges, saying he forgot to take it out of his bag, after working his side job as a security guard.

Trotter’s exit still leaves a crowded field of Democratic contenders, including Chicago Ald. Anthony Beale, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, State Senator-elect Napoleon Harris, State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly, and convicted former 2nd district Congressman Mel Reynolds.

Candidates can start filing petitions to get on the ballot on January 3rd. The primary is February 26th and the special general election is set for April 9th.

State Sen. Donne Trotter is dropping out of the race to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr. in Congress. Trotter is expected to make the formal announcement at a press conference on Saturday, said Bob Storman, spokesperson for Thornton Township.

Trotter is facing a federal charge for trying to take a gun and ammunition on a plane at O’Hare International Airport, earlier this month. He said he forgot to take it out of his bag, after working his side job as a security guard.

Trotter’s exit still leaves a crowded field of Democratic contenders, including Chicago Ald. Anthony Beale, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, State Senator-elect Napoleon Harris, State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, Cook County Chief Administrative Officer Robin Kelly, and disgraced former 2nd district Congressman Mel Reynolds.

Candidates can start filing petitions to get on the ballot on Jan. 3rd. The primary is Feb. 26th and the special general election is set for Apr. 9th.

 

State Senator Donne Trotter is due back in court Wednesday, in connection with his upcoming trial for trying to carry a gun onto a passenger jet.

He was arrested at O’Hare last week when security inspectors found his gun and some bullets in his carry-on bag.

Trotter works for a security company and says he forgot he packed the gun.

He is expected to plead not guilty to felony weapons charges.

Trotter is also expected to stay in the race for Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s old congressional seat.

Trotter has represented Illinois’ 17th District since 1993.

State Senator Donne Trotter is laying-low on Friday, just two days after he was arrested at O’Hare Airport for allegedly trying to bring a handgun and ammunition aboard an airplane.

He didn’t appear to be at his home at 84th and Yates. Phone calls to his offices in Springfield and Chicago haven’t been returned. His 17th district office at 87th and Constance was locked, even though the lights inside were on and people were inside.

He was released on $25,000 bond on Thursday.

Prosecutors say Trotter told police he finished work as a security guard early Wednesday, and forgot his gun was in a zipped-up side pocket of his garment bag, along with a clip that contained six live rounds.

Officials say Trotter has a valid firearm owner’s identification card and is licensed by the state to carry the gun while on the security job and while traveling to and from work at the security company. But, the weapon was not registered in the city of Chicago as required by municipal ordinance.

Trotter is among several contenders who are looking to take over Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s seat in the 2nd Congressional District.

“Donne Trotter will not be the next 2nd District congressman,” says UIC professor Dick Simpson.

“Even if he stays in the race, wherever he goes, instead of talking about policy or talking about his years as a lawmaker, now he’ll only be asked about why he tried to bring a gun onto an airplane.”

It’s been a whirlwind 24 hours for State Senator Donne Trotter.

Yesterday,  62-year-old Trotter was  on his way to Washington D.C.  He was arrested a O’Hare Airport when TSA agents discovered an unloaded 25 caliber berretta in his carryon bag, with six bullets nearby.

They detained him, charged him and today in court his lawyer said Trotter was working a security job last night and forgot his weapon was in his travel bag as he hurried to the airport.

Prosecutors say the defendant also failed to register that gun with the city of Chicago.

Around 1 p.m. Thursday Trotter paid 10% of his  $25,000 bond and left court in a hurry. Surrounded by cameras, he had nothing to say about the felony charge against him.

Despite these charges, he says he is  still in the race for the 2nd District and the seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr.

Trotter is due back in court next week.

State Senator Donne Trotter of Chicago is spending the night in jail on a felony charge of trying to carry a gun and ammunition onto a plane.

He was stopped at an O’Hare security checkpoint Wednesday morning.

Trotter has announced his candidacy to replace Jesse Jackson Jr. in Congress.

Authorities found a .25-caliber Beretta in his garment bag, and a clip containing six live rounds in a separate side pocket, according to police, who said the gun was not loaded.

Trotter told police he worked late Tuesday night at his job as a security guard for All Points Security and packed his bag early this morning, police said. They said he told authorities he didn’t realize the gun was in the bag.

The gun is the same one he uses for work, police said. He has a valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card and has a permit with the Illinois Department of Financial and Profession Regulation to work as a security guard, police said.

Trotter is due in bond court Thursday morning.

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

State Sen. Donne Trotter, who is seeking the congressional seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr., was arrested this morning at O’Hare International Airport for attempting to board a plane with an unloaded handgun and a clip with six bullets, officials said.

Advertisement