Former Brown Co. Armed Violence Trial in Adams Co. Delayed Again

By Benjamin Cox on April 9, 2024 at 8:38am

The jury trial of a former deputy with the Brown County Sheriff’s Department charged for allegedly beating his nine-month pregnant girlfriend with a pistol was delayed a month yesterday.

31-year old Cody R. Shaffer of Lorraine has been charged with class X felony armed violence, class 2 felony aggravated domestic battery, and class 3 felony aggravated battery of a pregnant person.

Charging documents filed in Adams County show Shaffer allegedly used a Ruger .380 pistol to strike Brittany Abercrombie on Jan. 27, 2023. He also allegedly placed his hand on Abercrombie’s throat and “struck Abercrombie about the body.”

Muddy River News reports that the case was set to go to trial in October, but attorney Dennis Woodworth motioned for a substitution of counsel in August. Shaffer now is represented by Drew Schnack. The case then was set to trial in January, but Schnack filed a motion to suppress evidence in connection to a recording that Abercrombie had made tied to the incident on the grounds that it violated the state’s eavesdropping law. Judge Tad Brenner denied that motion on March 15th. Shaffer has been on pretrial release after posting bond on February 15th of last year. As a condition of his pretrial release, Shaffer has been on ankle monitoring and home confinement save for conditions allowing him to work and meet with his attorney.

According to the Illinois Answers Project, Shaffer was a member of the Brown County Sheriff’s Department from July 2016 until his resignation shortly after his arrest last year. Shaffer was also a member of the West Central Illinois Task Force at the time of his arrest.

If convicted of any one of the three charges, Shaffer faces between 2 to 30 years in prison.

According to a separate report yesterday from Muddy River News, both sides agreed to delay the case even further yesterday afternoon after a jury call. Attorneys met with Judge Brenner outside of the courtroom in regards to an email that Schnack had received yesterday morning from another attorney representing Abercrombie in a family law case. Schnack also met with members of Shaffer’s family in the courtroom about the email, which said Abercrombie started taking Xanax, a prescription drug commonly used to treat anxiety and panic disorders, on Friday. Schnack said he talked yesterday morning with a Quincy area doctor about how the medication could affect Abercrombie if she testified this week. Schnack told the court that it could affect her appearance and demeanor in the case. Both sides of the case said they had no advance knowledge of the prescription.

Both sides agreed to delay the case and not empanel the jury that had been selected during the morning session. The case was moved to the May 6th docket before Brown County Judge Mark Vincent.