Centralia Man Pleads Guilty In Dice Game Investigation

(CENTRALIA, IL) — A 24-year-old Centralia man scheduled for jury trial Tuesday in Marion County Court pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in connection with a 2015 shooting incident over a dice game. Qwinton “Turtle” Shackleford was sentenced to four years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after agreeing to enter an alford plea to felony reckless discharge of a firearm, rather than to proceed with a jury trial scheduled for Tuesday on the original Class X felony charges against him. Shackleford was originally charged with Class X felony aggravated battery from the discharge of a firearm and Class X felony armed robbery with a firearm. Per the plea agreement reached this morning, a charge of reckless discharge was entered as a third charge. In exchange for his guilty plea to count three, counts one and two were dismissed. According to court records, Shackleford shot and injured Myron Smith in his North Cherry Street home after a dispute broke out over money. Smith told police that Shackleford became upset and made threats as he left the residence, only to return about 30 minutes later, with a gun and demanding money. Shackleford shot Smith and took $200 in cash from him, then fired a second shot that didn’t hit anyone and left the residence. Smith was taken to the hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening injury. Shackleford has remained in the Marion County Jail since his September arrest for the shooting, with bail set at $250,000. He was on probation at the time of the shooting and was sentenced to a 3-year concurrent term for violating the terms of his probation for a 2013 case of felony driving while license revoked.