UPDATE: One of Two Suspects Cleared in Fatal Shooting

By: Marissa Sherer; WIFR Newsroom; Jessica Geraci
By: Marissa Sherer; WIFR Newsroom; Jessica Geraci
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UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – A Rockford teen has been cleared of all charges in the shooting death of a Rockford man last year.

A judge has now found 19-year-old Damarius Nelson not guilty of unlawful use of a weapon as well. He was also cleared of first-degree murder charges in a trial back in November.

20-year-old Jimmy Hollins was found fatally shot in the chest in February 2013 on Rockford’s northwest side.

The other man charged in the shooting, Tommy Nabors has not faced a trial yet. He will be in court next on July 25th.


ROCKFORD (WIFR) – One of the teens originally charged in the death of a Rockford man is found NOT guilty.

19-year-old Damarius Nelson learned his fate late last night. Damarius was arrested in March for the death of 20-year-old Jimmy Hollins.

Hollins was shot in the chest back in February in the 300 block of Underwood Street, marking the city’s first murder of the year.

19-year-old Tommy Nabors was also charged with murder in Hollins’ death. His case has not yet gone to trial He’ll be in court Friday for a status hearing.

Jimmy Hollins’ family says they’re not happy with the verdict and plan to appeal.

“Out of all my kids, he would be the first one to call me in the morning, if you upset, he’d know how to make you laugh,” said Hollins’ mother, Angela Smith.

Angela says she’ll remember her son Jimmy with a smile on his face. Hollins was shot and killed outside the Fairgrounds Housing Complex in February and ever since then, his mother says she’s been living a nightmare.

“I’m not sleeping. I have pictures, I have videos, and when I look at that, I burst into tears,” Smith said.

Tears, pictures, and memories are what’s left of Hollins. However, Smith says hse will continue to seek justice for her son and other victims of violence.

“Fighting does not solve anything, guns do not solve anything, it makes matters worse and something needs to be done.”

She was in court for the “not guilty” verdict for one of her son’s accused killers, Damarius Nelson. It’s an outcome Smith says she doesn’t agree with as she still mourns the loss of her son.
“He cannot speak out for his own, so I have to be the voice for him. I want people to come out every day, I want people to march, I want people to stand up and say gun violence needs to stop.”

The first step is a candlelight vigil tonight at the spot where Hollins was killed. Smith says she wants more young people to realize they could be the next victim and they should think before using a gun to solve their problems.

Hollins left behind 2 sons of his own, as well as a daughter born just weeks after his death.

His family moved out of Fairgrounds after the shooting and are hoping to leave Rockford once these trials are over.


UPDATE: A jury has found 18-year-old Damarius Nelson NOT guilty of murder in the shooting death of 20-year-old Jimmy Hollins in February.

Nelson was also found innocent of two lesser charges. 19-year-old Tommy Nabors faces similar charges in Hollins' death. Nabors' trial has not yet begun.

Hollins was shot in the chest on February 25, 2013.


UPDATE: 18-year-old Damarius Nelson was taken into custody today in Harvey, Illinois on charges of Aggravated Battery with a Firearm and Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon. He's a suspect in the shooting death of 20-year-old Jimmy Hollins in the 300 block of Underwood. Another suspect, 19-year-old Tommy Nabors was already captured this month. He's being held in the Winnebago County Jail.


UPDATE: One of the men wanted for the murder of Jimmy Hollins turned himself into Rockford Police late last night. 19-year-old Tommy Nabors is in custody charged Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Battery with a Weapon.

Hollins is the first murder victim of the year in Rockford.

Police are also looking for 18-year-old Damarius Nelson.


UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Police have issued arrest warrants for two men believed to be connected in the Monday night murder of 20-year-old Jimmy Hollins.

Tommy Nabors, 19 years of age, Rockford, Illinois has been charged with Aggravated Battery with a Firearm and Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

Damarius Nelson, 18 years of age, Rockford, Illinois has been charged with Aggravated Battery with a Firearm and Aggravated Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Nabors or Nelson or additional information concerning the incident is encouraged to contact the Rockford Police Department shift commander at (815)987-5824 or CrimeStoppers at (815)963-7867.

Due to ongoing nature of the investigation, photographs of Nabors and Nelson are not being released at this time.


UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Nearly three months into the year, Rockford Police investigate the first murder of 2013.

Rockford Police are still in the early stages of the investigation. They were actually notified of the shooting when the victim showed up at Rockford Memorial Hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest.
Police say the shooting actually happened in the 300 block of Underwood Street around 10:15 last night.

The victim, 20-year-old Jimmy Hollins, was driven to RMH and carried into the emergency room. He was pronounced dead half an hour later. Officers were then notified of the shooting and went to Underwood street and began the investigation. Today we talked with a neighbor who lives just a few doors down from where the shooting took place. She's lived there for about a year and says it's not uncommon to hear gun shots. She says she didn't hear the shots, but her kids did and they knew exactly what to do.

"They just cut the lights off, they came in here crawling on the floor, said somebody was outside shooting so I said everybody cut the lights off so we looked out the window and saw a lot of people, you know, can't see who it was or what was going on, but it is kind of scary for the kids because they're scared, you know, two houses down,” said neighbor Deborah Benson.

Benson says it’s really not that bad of a neighborhood, but she says last night was a scary situation.

Police are still investigating and they don’t have a suspect or motive for the shooting.


UPDATE: Winnebago County Coroner's Office says the man who was killed is Jimmy Hollins of Rockford.

Mr. Hollins was carried into the emergency room by a person who was claiming he had been shot. Hollins was pronounced dead at 10:45pm.

An autopsy will be performed Wednesday.

Police are investigating the homicide case.



ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Rockford Police are continuing to investigate what caused gun fire to erupt inside a home, killing a young Rockford man.

It all unfolded on the 300 block of Underwood in Rockford around 10:15 Monday night.

Police say they were called to RMH's Emergency room because a 20 year old man had just been admitted with a gun shot wound to his chest. A short time later, the man was pronounced dead.

Police traced the shooting scene to a residence on the 300 block of Underwood, that's where they found several spent bullet casings.

The investigation is ongoing. We will bring you more information as it becomes available.

If you know anything about this crime please contact Rockford Police at 815-987-5824.


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