|Tim Seaman was sentenced to 21 and a 1/2 years|
A man from Crane who pleaded guilty in March to the 2006 murder of David Dulin was sentenced last Friday (05-11-12) to 21 and a 1/2 years in prison.
Timothy Lee Seaman, 37, was originally charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to amended charges of second-degree murder. As part of the plea agreement, charges of robbery and armed criminal action were dismissed against Seaman.
“This wasn't a drug deal gone bad that night - Dave Dulin was truly an innocent bystander who had his life stolen away from him.” Stone County prosecutor Matt Selby told the court. “This was the work of two men who wanted to get high and planned a robbery.”
|Stone County Prosecutor Matt Selby|
The high-profile murder case has taken a number of dramatic twists and turns in the five-and-a-half years since it was committed, including a trip to the Missouri Supreme Court.
It was Zack Stewart, Seaman's brother-in-law, who was originally charged for the November 29, 2006, shooting death of fifty three year-old Dulin, a resident of Hurley. The Missouri Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that Stewart deserved a new trial based on evidence collected at the crime scene and evidence uncovered while he was jailed.
During Stewart's trial in Greene County, where the case was moved to on a change of venue, a family member of Dulin's told Selby that a hat that he introduced into evidence as belonging to Dulin was not his. Selby asked the crime lab to put an Alpha rush on the hat during trial and DNA on the cap came back with a hit for Seaman's DNA. Even with that evidence, the jury convicted the then 19 year-old Stewart.
|David Dulin (family photo)|
As Selby was preparing to retry Stewart, he received "bombshell" evidence that led him to dismiss charges against Stewart and charge Seaman. That evidence came from John Mills who was offered a deal of immunity if he would tell investigator's what happened the night Dulin was murdered.
What Mills told them stunned everyone involved in the deal...he was the second man Dulin referred to as he lay dying in a recorded 9-1-1 call.
|Dave Dulin's house on Tin Can Hollow|
“That was a bombshell. We thought that he had some knowledge, but we didn’t think he was a participant,” said Selby.
Mills told investigators he witnessed Seaman gun Dulin down that cool fall night because they wanted to continue to party.
The following is the complete unadulterated written statement made by Mills to investigator's and it has never before been made public. It was obtained by this reporter by a Sunshine request:
The night of David Dulin's murder started out with Tim Seamon (sic) and myself drinking vodka at Ritchy and Amanda's house. After Ritchy and Amanda went to sleep Tim and I sat up talking tying to figure out how to get some meth. Tim stated he could get some meth in California if we could get the gas money to go. I stated why don't we just rob somebody. I told him I could get a gun and that we should just shoot someone in the head and take their money. So we decided to go to my dad's house to get a gun. We drove to my dads in my ford tarous (sic) and I went in to get a gun. My dad woke up to let me in and then he went to use the restroom. While he was in the restroom I went in his bedroom and got a 22 caliber pistol out from under his pillow and stuck it in my waistband. I told my dad I was going to stay the night at Ritchy's and I left. When we were going back toward Ritchy's, Tim navigated on which way for me to go. We wound up goin to David Dulins and pulling in the drive by his SUV. We got out of the car and I stuck the gun in between my left arm and ribcage. Tim walked in front of me and David Dulin met us at the front door and invited us in. We came in and sat on his couch & Tim started talking with him. Tim was talking something about death and dying then he gestured to me to give him the gun. He was in between me and Dulin - I let the gun slide down from between my arm and ribs and slid it to him on the couch. After that Tim stood up and said everybody's gotta die sometime and pointed the pistol at David while he was in his chair and shot him in the head. David got up with another 22 pistol and Tim dropped my dads pistol and they spun around and they wound up in the floor with Tim on top. About four shots went off from Davids gun. I picked up my dads gun off the floor and shot David in the side of the head and in his stomach. After that Tim got up and said lets get out of here. We ran out and got in my car and headed back to Ritchy and Amandas. When we got there Tim said we need to burn our clothes so we did. Then we washed our hands with bleach. Later on we was sitting in the bedroom and I seen Tim had taken Davids pistol with a laser light on it. Then next morning we hid the guns in the woods but I had to take my dads back because he was gonna report it stolen.
A list of items is the last page of the statement;
- A 22 9 shot revolver---took it back to dads house
- I was wearing a black jacket that said AAA concrete and a tan Mills concrete hat
- Tim was wearing a ball cap & flannel jacket
- I knew ahead of time that we were gonna kill somebody
Selby has said in the past that the prosecution and conviction of Stewart, who was innocent, "is a prosecutor's worst nightmare."
When Selby addressed the court at Seaman's sentencing he said, "He (Seaman) stood idly by in the shadows while his brother-in-law was tried and convicted of a crime he didn't commit. I regret for the family, the state and the community that he (Mills) is not going to be prosecuted for David Dulin's murder. Referencing the deal he made with Mills, "It did tell us we know for sure who killed David Dulin but we also now know who didn't kill Mr. Dulin."
Seaman's attorney Chris Hatley asked the court to sentence his client to 15 years in prison. "He (Seaman) never stood here and said he killed David Dulin...it was John Mills. He never stood here and said he shot David Dulin or robbed Mr. Dulin. He never came forward, but neither did John Mills. That doesn't mean he is not guilty in the eyes of the law."
|John Mills was recently sentenced to 12 years in prison|
Mills was sentenced last month to 7 years in prison on various weapons charges unrelated to Dulin's murder. His 5 year probation for domestic violence was also revoked at that time. The judge in that case was unable to take into consideration anything having to do with Dulin's murder.
Hatley also took aim at the immunity deal, "I believe it when Mr. Selby says if he had it to do all over again he wouldn't."
Under state law, Seaman must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.