Prosecutors re-file murder charge in shooting death of Galva teen

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GALESBURG, Illinois -- A man is facing newly filed charges after a grand jury refused to indict him on first degree murder in the shooting death of a Galva, Illinois teenager.

James Love was facing charges of first-degree murder, aggravated battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm after allegedly shooting 19-year-old Xavier Hartman in the leg in June.

In mid-July, a grand jury refused to indict Hartman on first-degree murder.  Prosecutors then filed a new case with identical charges. Those charges were read to Love in Knox County Court on Wednesday, July 25.

Love's defense attorney Todd Ringle said in more than two-decades he's never seen a state's attorney file a new case after a grand jury.

"They didn't like the decision the grand jury made," said defense attorney Todd Ringle, "so they're going to a preliminary hearing and letting the judge make the determination of probable cause."

Ringle said it's a rare occurrence but said the state's attorney's office is within their rights.

Knox County's Assistant State's Attorney Brian Kerr said there are multiple ways to get a case to trial. He said this new case will allow the prosecution to present more evidence to the judge.

"There’s always more we can present and we’re going to do that for the judge during the preliminary hearing," said Kerr.

"There are a lot of facts that aren’t known," said Ringle, "but once they come out I’m very confident that Jim’s going to be exonerated of this."

The incident stemmed from a June 19th incident where authorities said Hartman had crashed a vehicle near Love's home.

According to the Knox County Sheriff’s Department, Love heard the crash and yelling and left his home armed with a 9mm semiautomatic handgun to investigate.

The department said "a confrontation occurred between Hartman and Love" and Love fired two gunshots, hitting Hartman in the thigh.

An autopsy later showed that a bullet struck the femoral artery.

A passenger in the vehicle reportedly fled on on foot during the confrontation.

The judge set a preliminary hearing in the re-filed case for August 6 at 2 p.m.

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