|Stegall (inset) received a 2-year sentence after pleading guilty yesterday | Cook County Sheriff|
At one point, it looked like she’d walk away with a misdemeanor charge.
But yesterday, the woman who went viral on a video that showed her firing a handgun into a bustling stretch of Lincoln Park’s Halsted Street in 2015 was told that she’s going to prison.
Jennifer Stegall, 33, pleaded guilty to aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in court on Wednesday and received a 2-year prison sentence in return.
In October 2015, Stegall was caught on video firing a handgun during a street disturbance in the 2600 block of North Halsted.
Prosecutors initially charged Stegall with misdemeanor reckless conduct because—despite the fact that more than a dozen people were within steps of her—none of them would go on record as having seen Stegall fire a gun.
No weapon was recovered at the scene as multiple bystanders told police that no gun had ever been used.
Stegall was arrested, charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct, and released within eight hours.
But after a “certain blog” reported on the case and shared the viral video, local residents spoke up. Two weeks later, the state’s attorney filed amended charges, and a grand jury eventually returned eight counts against Stegall.
After receiving credit for two days served in jail following her arrest, she will likely be paroled around Christmastime.