A Lebanon woman who was convicted of killing Zach Jones in a Lebanon park has been sentenced to life in prison.

A jury convicted, Kimberly Dunkin, 37, in February of first-degree murder, armed criminal action and first-degree assault for her part in the baseball bat beating death of Jones and the assault of Matthew Bankston in Atchley Park in June of 2007.

However the judge in the case today said that Dunkin's brother-in-law, who was her co-conspirator in the cas,e was offered a deal to plead to second-degree murder with the chance for parole. His thinking.....she should get the same deal!

In essence, he overturned the jury's conviction and sentencing recommendation and issued his own guidelines. As part of the deal in the second-degree murder sentence, Dunkin waived all appeals.

In addition to the two life sentences (which will be served concurrently) the judge also sentenced her to twin 50-year sentences for armed criminal action.

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 will run concurrent to each other.

Dunkin's husband, Terry, hanged himself in the LaClede County jail shortly after being charged with Jones' murder.

Dunkins son, Nathan Gibbs, who was fifteen (now 16) at the time of Jones death and Bankston's beating was charged with first degree murder and felony assault in the case. No trial date has been set in his case.


Froggy said...

Why do we even have juries if a judge is going to make judgements like this?

This decision was totally wrong in my opinion.

Jay said...

I agree with Froggy. Obviously this is a huge tragedy. Though the punishment for Kimberly is absurd. She is not a murderer period.