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Former state trooper charged with Chicago Heights murder

A retired Illinois State Police trooper allegedly stood over a former tenant and shot him dead at a Chicago Heights gas station, emptying his gun into the man, authorities said.

Former trooper Dennis Joyner, 60, of Park Forest, was ordered held without bail Thursday morning at the Cook County courthouse in Markham.

He’s charged in Tuesday’s shooting death of Robert Fortson, 40, of Chicago Heights, prosecutors said.

Fortson and his family had rented a Park Forest house from Joyner from August 2009 to August 2011, when Joyner demanded he leave, according to court records.

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

On Tuesday morning, when Joyner saw Fortson 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, authorities said.

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

According to prosecutors, several witnesses saw Joyner shoot Fortson, and the murder 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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