Former Brown Co. Deputy Found Guilty of Aggravated Battery Charges

By Benjamin Cox on May 9, 2024 at 8:47am

An Adams County jury found a former Brown County Sheriff’s Deputy guilty of two felonies and not guilty of the most serious charge levied against him on Tuesday after a two-day trial.

Muddy River News reports that the jury trial of 31-year old Cody R. Shaffer ended Tuesday evening after the jury deliberated three hours, finding Shaffer guilty of Class 2 felony aggravated domestic battery by strangulation and Class 3 felony aggravated battery of a pregnant person. However, the jury found Shaffer was not guilty of Class X felony armed violence.

Shaffer was originally accused of strangling, biting, and pointing a loaded gun into the throat and stomach of his former girlfriend Brittany Abercrombie in the overnight hours of January 27, 2023.

Abercrombie detailed the encounter on the witness stand on Monday. Prosecutors also played a 15-minute audio recording that Abercrombie made on her cellphone that captured the verbal argument and eventual physical altercation the two of them had.

Early Tuesday, Shaffer testified in his own defense saying that Abercrombie was the instigator of the physical encounter, eventually punching him in the eye. He says the two of them struggled on the floor, and that he never attempted to strangle Abercrombie. He also denied Abercrombie’s accounts of a Ruger pistol being used in the incident, saying he believed Abercrombie pressed charges in order to keep him away from their unborn child.

Jurors placed three requests to the court, one of which was to hear the recording again during deliberations while the other were procedural questions.

Muddy River News reports that defense Attorney Drew Schnack offered a plea bargain to Adams County prosecutors prior to the verdict, offering that Shaffer plea guilty to aggravated domestic battery by strangulation in exchange for a sentence of probation. Prosecutors Laura Keck and Josh Jones declined the deal after consulting with Abercrombie.

Shaffer now faces between 2 to 7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections along with a period of mandatory supervised release, a county fine, along with assessments by the court. Shaffer’s sentences on the two charges could be served concurrently. Due to Illinois’ Truth-In-Sentencing laws, he must serve at least 85% of his sentence.

Visiting Schuyler County Judge Mark Vincent has set Shaffer’s sentencing for June 27th. Shaffer will remain on electronic monitoring until the sentencing hearing.