Jul 26, 2014
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Park Forest Man Pleads Not Guilty in Fatal Gas Station Shooting

Dennis Joyner, the Park Forest man accused of shooting a man to death at a Chicago Heights gas station, was arraigned in a Markham courtroom on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Park Forest Man Pleads Not Guilty in Fatal Gas Station Shooting

An attorney for a Park Forest man who is accused of fatally shooting another man over a rental dispute said Tuesday, Oct. 16 that his client pleads "not guilty to each and every charge" of first-degree murder and unlawful use of a weapon.

Police say Dennis Joyner, 60, a retired state trooper was in a dispute with Robert Fortson, 40, over a rental property that Joyner owned. The dispute ended with Joyner shooting Fortson several times at the Mobil gas station in the 400 block of Lincoln Highway, according to police.

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Joyner reportedly laid his gun down after the shooting and waited for police to arrive at the scene. However, Sam Adam Jr., Joyner's attorney, told Patch at Joyner's last court appearance that his client would be entering a not guilty plea.

Families and friends of both the alleged shooter and the victim filled the seats Joyner's arraignment Tuesday in Cook County Judge Frank Zelezinski's Markham courtroom. Neither family wanted to comment.

Adam filed a motion to receive any audio or video surveillance from the scene of the shooting and any statements or confession from Joyner. The defense attorney also said he will have a private investigator who may be a potential witness.

Much of the rest of the arraignment centered on Joyner's health. Adam reiterated a previous request to see a doctor a Cermak Health Services, the healthcare provider for the Cook County Department of Corrections; Joyner has been in custody since he was denied bail in September. Adam said Joyner has a chest defibrillator and suffers from extreme gout. He also told the judge that Joyner's ankle is swelling and requests that Joyner be allowed to wear gym shoes and asked if Joyner would be able to get contact lenses.

Prosecutors did not object to any of Adam's request. By agreement, Joyner will be back in court on Nov. 19.

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