A 2018 shooting case is returning to Cole County court due to an appellate court's decision.
Jaquan Whirley, 22, was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2022 after pleading guilty. The case was appealed to the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals in June, and the judgment was reversed and remanded -- or sent back by a higher court -- to Cole County based on the state's arguments.
The appellate court's opinion stated the circuit court made an "evident, obvious and clear error" in an initial sentence of seven years for unlawful use of a weapon, which carries a required sentence of 15 years.
The intent is for a 15-year sentence to be entered, but Whirley is able to move to withdraw a previous guilty plea for the weapons offense, according to the opinion.
Whirley pleaded guilty to a charge in connection with a shooting that happened in 2018. He pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a weapon while prosecutors dismissed a charge of armed criminal action against him.
According to Jefferson City Police Department reports, officers were called Dec. 4, 2018, to the 300 block of Case Avenue. Authorities said the incident began as a disturbance and led to subjects firing guns.
There were 14 shell casings found; a residence and vehicles were hit. One person was injured but did not require transportation to a hospital.
A JCPD probable cause statement indicates, using Whirley's phone for evidence, investigators found texts between Whirley and a witness which implicated Whirley as the one who "performed the shooting on Case Street."
In January 2021, authorities attempted to interview Whirley, but he declined to make a statement.
In May 2022, detectives interviewed the witness in the case who said she remembered texting Whirley about the shooting and she had a conversation with Whirley about the shooting where he allegedly admitted to committing the crime.
His initial sentence was rendered at the same time as another shooting case, where he pleaded guilty to first-degree assault. The seven-year sentence covered both convictions.