State

Man not guilty of trying to kill Decatur officer

DECATUR – A jury in central Illinois has cleared a man of charges that he tried to kill a Decatur police detective wounded during a raid last year.

Macon County jurors deliberated more than two hours Thursday before finding 33-year-old Dennis Kendall not guilty of two counts of attempted first-degree murder, the Decatur Herald & Review reported. But jurors convicted him of armed violence, unlawful possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon.

Authorities said Decatur police were trying to batter down Kendall’s door in January of last year when a gunshot was fired from inside. The bullet apparently deflected off of a railing in front of the house and wounded detective Jason Hesse in an ankle. Hesse survived, and Kendall later surrendered.

Kendall’s attorney insisted that his client didn’t know it was police trying to force their way into his home. After Kendall fired, he called 911 and was told that it was police at his door.

Even though he was cleared of attempted murder, Kendall still faces a stiff penalty of 30 to 60 years in prison when sentenced Sept. 4, given his previous convictions that included a burglary in 1998.

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