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Wednesday, December 29,2010

Man gets probation for killing neighbor after dog urinated on lawn

By McClatchy-Tribune News Service

CHICAGO — A Chicago area man who killed a neighbor whose dog urinated on his lawn was sentenced today to four years probation.

"This is not justice," said Gail Williams, the slain man's aunt.

Charles Clements, 69, a great-grandfather, former Marine and retired truck driver who took great pride in his lawn's appearance, could have been sentenced to as much as 20 years.

In declining to send Clements to jail, Will County Judge Daniel Rozak noted the episode was Clements' first contact with the legal system in his 69 years.

He also said the slaying wasn't about a dog urinating on a lawn, but "about your reaction ... to being yelled at, pushed and punched in the face by a 23-year-old man"

The Will County state's attorney's office, which had asked for jail time, indicated it would not appeal the sentence. "He (Rozak) is an excellent judge and we respect his decision," prosecutors said in a statement.

Clements had apologized for his actions at a sentencing hearing that was interrupted last week when the slain man's mother began to hyperventilate in court.

A Will County jury convicted Clements of second-degree murder in October.

Joshua Funches, 23, was walking his fox terrier puppy when Clements confronted him after the dog urinated on his manicured lawn.

After Funches cursed at him, Clements pulled out a .45-caliber handgun and put it back in his pocket. Soon after, Funches punched Clements once in the face. Clements said Funches was standing still when he pulled out his gun and fatally shot him.

Funches had three small children, including a boy born after his death. Patricia Funches, his mother, had asked Rozak to sentence Clements to the maximum 20 years in prison. Clements had been free on bond pending his sentencing.

Clements' attorney, Daniel Collins, said he was "very satisfied" with the sentence, as were Clements and his family.

"They're very thankful to the judge," he said.

Clements will meet with his probation officer to see if he will be allowed to move out of University Park, Ill., he added.


(c) 2010, Chicago Tribune.

Visit the Chicago Tribune on the Internet at http://www.chicagotribune.com/.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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I'm about as pro gun as they come, but even I can see a serious problem with this. Probation for taking an innocent mans life, is not adequate punishment. To take someone else's life without being at risk of death, serious bodily harm or sexual assault, in my opinion is murder.

Considering that media has become unreliable, it's hard to say whether the 69 year old was at serious risk from the physical assault of the 23 year old. As this article is written, the 69 year old would have been well within his rights to defend himself physically but not with deadly force. And that's providing that he didn't instigate the incident.


The facts in this case aren't clear from this account; if its true the guy was shot down the street, well after the exchange and off property, well after the so called punching, then it wasn't excusable as a defense of the home. Its 1st degree murder if you ask me.


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What kind of retard assaults someone who has a gun in his possession?  I wonder if the dog crapped on the guy's lawn when the gun went off?



According to the news, the murder followed the victim down the street and shot him after the incident.  Many young people today show little respect for the elderly,but this is out of control for the elderly to take it to this level.