Victim was shot four times during 2011 armed robbery
KANKAKEE — Joseph “Joe Buck” Buckner III was found mortally wounded on a sidewalk at a Kankakee intersection the day after Thanksgiving in 2011 by a woman walking to a friend’s house.
The owner of A Kut Above barber shop in Kankakee, Buckner was shot four times, including twice in the chest, during an armed robbery outside his home in the 600 block of South Lincoln Avenue.
Dannie L. Kendrick Jr., of Kankakee, is on trial for shooting and killing the father of three.
During his opening statement on Tuesday, Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe said the now 27-year-old Kendrick forced Buckner out of his vehicle at gunpoint and demanded money.
Investigators said Kendrick got $250, of which he is alleged to have given $30 to his cousin Ricky Kendrick Jr., who also was charged.
Ricky Kendrick is serving a 15-year sentence after pleading guilty to armed robbery with a dangerous weapon in August 2014.
Rowe said the two cousins were in the 600 block of South Lincoln Avenue to break into a house. That plan changed when a person was inside.
They saw Buckner pull up and decided to rob him.
Rowe said Buckner grabbed the gun and tried to wrestled it away from Dannie Kendrick, who pulled the trigger of a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun that was not recovered.
Five shell casings and three bullet fragments were recovered near Buckner’s car.
The two cousins fled, and Buckner tried to get help.
Buckner was found lying on the sidewalk at the intersection of River Street and South Osborn Avenue. That is less than two blocks from his home.
A report of shots fired came into KanComm at 7:52 p.m.
A barber/stylist, Issaclerome Watkins, testified he received a call from one of Kendrick’s cousins asking if Dannie could come in. The call came at 8:04 p.m. on Nov. 25, 2011. Kendrick arrived at 8:20 p.m., Watkins said. Kendrick was a regular, according to Watkins.
Watkins said he changed Kendrick’s short Afro to the start of dreadlocks. Watkins said usually Kendrick is the “life of the party” but this time was “actually quite quiet and not talkative.”
Kendrick paid Watkins $50. He said it was unusual. There were many times Kendrick didn’t have the money to pay Watkins.
Watkins said he has known Kendrick for many years and likes helping others in the community.
During his opening statement, assistant public defender Benjamin Lawson said, “The state wants you to believe that Dannie Kendrick confessed to this crime. You’ll learn through the course of this trial that Dannie didn’t confess, he was forced to say what the police wanted him to say. ”