67-year-old Machesney Park man sentenced to 50 years for 2008 murder
Online Staff Report
Howard R. Dunn, 67, was sentenced by Judge Joseph G. McGraw to 50 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for committing the offense of first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of 61-year-old Ronald E. Harbison. Dunn was found guilty after a jury trial June 15.
Nov. 19, 2008, around 9:20 p.m., police were dispatched to the 300 block of Wilshire Drive, Machesney Park, for a man down, believed to have been shot. Upon arrival Winnebago County Sheriff’s police observed paramedics on the scene tending to a man who was later identified as Ronald Harbison.
The victim was laying in the front yard of the Dunn’s home, bleeding from the right side of his chest. Harbison died as a result of a gunshot wound to his chest.
Winnebago County Sheriff’s police saw Dunn standing behind a storm door with no window in the upper portion inside his residence watching the paramedics treating Harbison.
Sheriff’s deputies approached Dunn and observed a shotgun lying across the arms of a chair just a few feet away.
A search warrant for Dunn’s trailer was obtained. Sheriff’s police located a loaded 12-gauge single-shot shotgun and one spent shot shell near a coffee table just a few feet from the defendant’s front door. Dunn admitted to police he shot the man in his driveway.
First-degree murder is a class M felony with a penalty range of 20 to 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections with an additional 25 years to natural life for personally discharging a firearm that proximately caused the death of another. Dunn will serve 100 percent of his sentence.
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