It took a jury in Moniteau County about two hours to convict a Laclede County woman of first degree murder and armed criminal action for the 2007 beating death of a Lebanon teenager.
Zach Jones, 17, (b.) and Matthew Bankston had gone to a park with another friend to talk to Kimberly Dunkin and her husband Terry.
The Dunkins were joined by Terry Dunkin's brother, Jerry Broyles, and two juveniles. They wanted to confront the teenagers about text messages that were sent to Broyles' girlfriends cell phone.
Bankston told cops that the group hit Jones with a car and then beat he and Zach up with baseball bats and a metal rod.
Bankston suffered traumatic brain injury in the attack and is paralyzed on one side as a result of the beating. He has had to learn how do to everything all over again....walk, talk, feed himself.
The irony of this tragedy is that Zach and his buddies were just being kids; sending texts, talking about girls....ya know, just being friends----and a text got sent to the wrong phone number.
Because of that mistake, one boy is dead and another will never be the same.
Dunkin was also charged with first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action in the case.
The jury recommended 30 years on the assault charge and 50 years on each of the armed criminal action charges.
It will be up to the judge to decide if he wants to make the time on the assault and armed criminal action convictions concurrent (at the same time) or consecutive (one has to be served then the other.)
It will probably be concurrent because the only sentence available to Dunkin on the first-degree murder conviction is life without parole.
She is scheduled to be sentenced on April 24, 2009.
Dunkin's husband, Terry, hanged himself in the Laclede County jail shortly after being charged with murder.
Jerry Broyles pleaded guilty to killing Jones and injuring Bankston shortly before his trial was to begin last November and was given four life sentences (life in the state of Missouri is thirty years).
Those sentences are to be served concurrently (at the same time.)
Dunkins son, Nathan Gibbs, who was fifteen at the time of Jones death and Bankston's beating was charged with first degree murder and felony assault in the case.
On October 31st a judge reduced Gibbs' bond from $100,000 to $5,000.
That means that someone only has to post $500.00 in cash or surety to get Gibbs out of jail.
If he does bond out, he will be held on house arrest until the start of his trial.
No trial date has been scheduled in his case.
****Please visit Froggy's page here.
07LA-CR00690-02 - ST V KIMBERLY ELAINE DUNKIN
07LA-CR01427-01 - ST V NATHAN EUGENE GIBBS