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Former state trooper charged with Chicago Heights murder

Updated: October 15, 2012 9:53AM



A Park Forest man charged with first-degree murder Tuesday for killing a Chicago Heights man is a retired Illinois State Police trooper, authorities said Thursday.

Dennis Joyner, 60, was ordered held without bail Thursday morning at the Cook County courthouse in Markham, in connection with Tuesday’s shooting death of Robert Fortson, 40, of Chicago Heights, according to the Cook County state’s attorney’s office.

Joyner is due back in court Oct. 3.

According to court records, Fortson, his wife and four children rented a Park Forest house from Joyner from August 2009 to August 2011, when Joyner demanded he leave.

After Fortson moved out of the house, “minor damage” was noticed in the house, court records stated.

On Tuesday, when Joyner saw Fortson at 10:58 a.m. at the Mobil gas station at 431 W. 14th St. in Chicago Heights, he yelled at him and threatened him, according to court records.

As Fortson walked out, Joyner pulled a gun out of his waistband, shot Fortson in the back, and then stood over him and shot at him until his gun was empty, court records stated.

Joyner then walked back into the gas station store, placed the gun on the counter and waited for police, authorities said.

According to prosecutors, several witnesses saw Joyner shoot Fortson, and the incident was captured on surveillance video.

Chicago Heights Police Sgt. Joe Bruni said Joyner owned the gun he used to shoot Fortson. He has no prior record, police said.

Fortson, who has a misdemeanor on his record, has a brother who is an Illinois State Police trooper, Bruni said.



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