Man allegedly shot neighbor after dog wet on lawn

October 12, 2010 6:55:03 AM PDT
Neighbors say Charles Clements has always been proud of his lawn, but now the University Park homeowner faces murder charges after a neighbor's dog urinated on it.

Clements is accused of shooting to death Joshua Funches after Funches allowed his dog to urinate in Clements' front yard.

Neighbors say they are stunned by the killing that took place Sunday night in the suburb south of Chicago.

Clements was famous for his well-manicured yard, winning his town's lawn upkeep award.

Residents of University Park say they live in a safe and quiet community, and that Charles Clements is a stalwart of the neighborhood who has always taken pride in his well-manicured lawn.

Family members of the victim cannot believe he was gunned down over a minor incident, leaving his mother without a son and his girlfriend without a father for his children.

"Now I don't have nobody, I am all alone with just the Lord now," said mother Patricia Funches.

Clements, 69, a former marine who resides in University Park, is being held on a $3 million bond. He has been accused of fatally shooting his neighbor, 23-year-old Joshua Funches.

Funches' puppy urinated on Clements' lawn. Mrs. Funches says Clements followed her son on his way home, pulled out a gun, and pointed it at him.

"The man raised up his hand and said 'I got a gun I'm going to shoot you,'" said Funches. "My son said, 'Mister, you should not pull out a gun unless you mean to use it,' and he shot him."

Clements' neighbors say that his lawn is his passion, and that he has won several south suburban beautification awards for its upkeep.

"We have known Chuck for 15, 20 years, he and his wife Marion, and I mean they are sort of the stalwarts of the block," said neighbor Lloyd Allison.

"Every year this man wins the beautification for having the prettiest grass," said Funches. "How do you weigh grass over a human beings' life?"

Neighbors are shocked that the father of two, with his girlfriend expecting his third child in August, would be gunned down over a minor incident.

"I feel like it's pointless, I'm still shocked - I can't believe it," said neighbor Lishann Byers. "How could a person die who I grew up with and went to school with? He was a cool person."

Patricia Funches said she wants justice to prevail, and that her son was a good child and she does not want his death to have been in vain.

"My child should not have had to die like that," said Funches. "My child should have buried me, not me bury my child."


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