1 of ‘biggest players in gun violence’ in Springfield faces more prison


A man described by prosecutors as “one of the biggest players in gun violence” in Springfield will be sentenced next week after he was convicted of shooting into two homes.

A cell phone was a key piece of evidence in the trial of Dennis Kennedy, 23, prosecutors said. He was found guilty on Oct. 10 of two counts of improperly discharging a firearm into a habitation and one count of improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle.

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He faces up to 11 years in prison for each count, Clark County Prosecutor Dan Driscoll said, and up to 18 months for the motor vehicle charge.

“We feel the jury came to the right conclusion,” Driscoll said.

Kennedy had been arrested on charges of murder in connection with the shooting death of George Walker Jr. in May 2014, but that case was dropped when a witness was shot and killed in a separate incident, prosecutors said.

He then was convicted of improperly handling a firearm in August 2016. He skipped out on his sentencing for that and was found hiding in an attic in South Carolina. He’s now serving an 18-month sentence on that charge.

The newest conviction against Kennedy stemmed from multiple shootings in the Springfield area in 2015. Kennedy was accused of shooting into two homes and running from police.

READ MORE: Man accused of breaking jaw, nose of Springfield bar owner

Investigators figured out Kennedy was behind the shootings after conducting interviews and reviewing the evidence at the scene, Driscoll said.

After identifying Kennedy as the suspect, the prosecutor said investigators were able to dig a little deeper. One of the main pieces of evidence against Kennedy at the trial was a cell phone that was on Kennedy during the shootings, he said.

An expert located the towers his cell phone connected to throughout the nights of the shootings, Driscoll said, and through that evidence, authorities found out where Kennedy was throughout the night.

“They were able to see where he was at the time of the shootings,” Driscoll said.

Kennedy is due back in court Oct. 31 for a sentencing hearing.

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