Trial set to begin Monday for former Brown County deputy charged with striking pregnant girlfriend with pistol

cody shaffer copy

Cody Shaffer | Photo courtesy of Adams County Jail

QUINCY — The trial for a former deputy with the Brown County Sheriff’s Department charged with three felonies, including beating his nine-month pregnant girlfriend with a pistol, will begin Monday in Adams County Circuit Court.

Cody R. Shaffer, 31, of Loraine has been charged with:

  • Armed violence, a Class X felony, punishable for between six and 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections;
  • Aggravated domestic battery by strangulation, a Class 2 felony, punishable for between three and seven years in prison; and
  • Aggravated battery of a pregnant person, a Class 3 felony, punishable for between two and five years in prison.

Jury selection will begin Monday, April 8. The judge will be Tad Brenner.

Shaffer made his first appearance in court on Jan. 30, 2023. Charging documents filed in Adams County show Shaffer allegedly used a Ruger .380 pistol to strike Brittany Abercrombie on Jan. 27, 2023. He also allegedly placed his hand on Abercrombie’s throat and “struck Abercrombie about the body.” Shaffer and Abercrombie were engaged to be married, according to Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Keck.

An Adams County grand jury indicted Shaffer on all three charges on March 2. Shaffer pled not guilty to each charge during his arraignment on May 30.

The case was set to go to trial in October, but attorney Dennis Woodworth motioned for a substitution of counsel in August. Shaffer now is represented by Drew Schnack.

The case then was set to trial in January, but Schnack filed a motion to suppress evidence on Jan. 9. Brenner heard arguments about the motion on Feb. 22.

“There was a recording (Abercrombie) had done, and Drew filed a motion to suppress that recording,” Keck said. “(Schnack) argued it was a violation of the (state’s) eavesdropping law, and (Brenner) denied it (on March 15).”

Illinois law says a person commits eavesdropping when he or she knowingly and intentionally uses an eavesdropping device secretly for the purpose of transmitting or recording all or any part of any private conversation to which he or she is a party unless he or she does so with the consent of all other parties to the private conversation.

Shaffer was held in Adams County Jail on $500,000 bail. That amount was reduced to $250,000 by Brenner on Feb. 15, 2023. Shaffer was released after posting the lowered bond.

However, Brenner also filed an order calling for GPS monitoring and home confinement. The conditions of Shaffer’s GPS monitoring were modified to allow him to work for a local construction company, to attend hearings in the Adams County Courthouse and meet with Schnack at his law firm across the street from the courthouse.

Shaffer was a member of the West Central Illinois Task Force when he was arrested. He began his employment with the Brown County Sheriff’s Department in July 2016, according to the Illinois Answers Project.

Brown County Sheriff Justin Oliver said Shaffer was placed on paid administrative leave when he was arrested, but he resigned about three weeks later.

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