Lawn Shooting Suspect Claims Self-Defense

The victim's relative calls the story a "lie from the pit of hell"

By Ivanna Hampton
|  Thursday, Jun 3, 2010  |  Updated 8:08 AM CDT
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Second City Animal Stories

Former U.S. Marine Charles Clements, 69, is accused of shooting a neighbor whose puppy urinated on his award-winning lawn.

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The former Marine who allegedly shot dead a neighbor because the man's dog peed on his prized lawn is telling a different version of events.

Daniel Collins, the attorney for Charles Clements, filed a motion in Will County Court with Clements claiming self-defense in the May 9 incident, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Court documents allege Joshua Funches, 23, cursed at Clements' wife after she backed out her driveway while Funches walked with his fox terrier in the 500 block of Landau Road.

Clements claims Funches returned to provoke him by allowing his dog to urinate and defecate on his award-winning lawn in the South Suburb.

The 69-year-old man allegedly walked up to Funches and recited a University Park ordinance requiring residents to clean-up after their pets and keep them on a leash.  According to Collins, a fight allegedly broke out between the men and ended with Clements firing his .45 caliber handgun as he fell to the ground.

"He feared for his safety," Collins said. "He also felt that his life was in danger."

The account from Clements, who is charged with first and second-degree murder, contradicts what prosecutors say happened.

Patricia Funches said Clements "lied from the pit of hell" in claiming self-defense, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The great-grandfather's account appears to have had some impact since the judge reduced Clements' bail from $3 million to $750,000 this week. 

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