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Motorist convicted of fatally stabbing passenger after argument over driving directions

BENTON, Ill. — An Illinois motorist accused of fatally stabbing a passenger after an argument broke out over driving directions was found guilty after a three-day trial.

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Heath Dunning, 35, of Eldorado, was found guilty of first-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a weapon, according to a news release from the State’s Attorney in Franklin County.

Dunning was accused of fatally stabbing Dennis “Lance” Martin in the heart as he was driving a van on April 15, 2021, WSIL-TV reported.

Prosecutors said that Dunning was driving Martin’s van when the two men began to argue about which direction they were traveling, according to the television station.

When Martin attempted to remove the keys from the ignition, Dunning allegedly grabbed a knife and stabbed him, the news release stated.

Dunning parked the van in a nearby driveway and called 911, but Martin was pronounced dead at the scene, according to WSIL.

Dunning will be sentenced at a later date, prosecutors said.

A jury reached a verdict after three hours of deliberation, the news release stated.

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