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Sunday, January 30, 2011

[MO] Wife of retired Jefferson City Police Officer III Paul Wade Plunkett is in jail for his murder

PAUL WADE PLUNKETT
Retired Jefferson City Police Officer III
(1958 - 2011)

Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Wilson charged Sandra Plunkett with first degree murder in the shooting death of her husband Paul... Police now say her story of the man in camouflage was made-up... She is being held in the Callaway County Jail without bond... The police department spokesman said it was obvious that Sandra Plunkett realized she could spend the rest of her life behind bars after she admitted to shooting her husband. In fact, Plunkett made a desperate move as she was being moved out of her holding cell on her way to jail. "She went for an officer's gun”... Paul was a law enforcement officer, starting his career with the Kennett Police Department and then the Butler County Sheriff's Department. In 1989, he joined the Jefferson City Police Department, where he had served on the SWAT Team, Community Policing Team, and was a Field Training Officer. He retired in 2008, as a Police Officer III. Paul was well respected by his co-workers and the citizens he came into contact with, and was a mentor to many of the younger officers he worked with...

DOUG SHOEMAKER OF THE JEFFERSON CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT:
"Paul was the kind of guy that was a natural leader, he was a good friend to everybody and he was there to help anytime they needed help. Even the people he arrested liked him."

NEWS EXCERPTS FROM THIS MONTH:

HOLTS SUMMIT, MO.
connectmidmissouri.com
by Meghan Lane
[Excerpts]

Updated Jan. 2 at 12:55 p.m. -Holts Summit police said 52 year old Paul Plunkett was murdered Saturday in his home... Police told KRCG the victim had a faint pulse when he was found and he was flown to a local hospital but died a short time later... The investigation is being worked by the Holts Summit Police Department and the Missouri Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control.

Jan. 2 at 9:20 p.m. -Police in Holts Summit spoke out Sunday about the murder of a retired Jefferson City Police officer. As of Sunday investigators hadn’t even called in the Major Case Squad because they have so few leads in the murder of 52-year-old Paul Plunkett. His wife found him shot in the head around 1p.m. Saturday afternoon at their Holts Summit home in the 200 block of Major Terrace. "We don't have things for the detectives to do,” Holts Summit Police Chief Kyle McIntyre said. “We're getting two or three leads at a time and with the amount of detectives we have working on it, we have plenty of people to cover those leads." Police Chief Kyle McIntyre said they have no suspects but they have collected what might be clues from the home... Saturday KRCG told you about a report of a man walking down the street in camouflage carrying a gun. Police said Plunkett's wife made that call just before she found her husband. Investigators still haven't found a man matching her description.

Monday, Jan. 3 at 11:50 a.m. -The Jefferson City Police Department released a statement on retired officer, Paul Plunkett. Plunkett worked with the department for 19 years. "On January 1, 2011, our agency was informed of the tragic death of retired Jefferson City Police Officer Paul Plunkett. While we will not discuss the circumstances of that case, we are providing any information requested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control and the Holts Summit Police Department. Officer Plunkett was employed by our agency from 1989 to 2008, when he retired in good standing at the rank of Police Officer III. He served in many capacities during his time with us, including membership on the Department SWAT Team and as a Field Training Officer. One of the accomplishments he was most proud of was his work with the Community Policing Team. He worked with local neighborhoods to solve quality of life challenges for those residents by reducing crime and improving their living conditions. Through this positive police-community partnership, Paul always tried to make a positive difference of those most in need. Paul was a mentor to many officers, and a friend to everyone. He was known as a kind and helpful person who was always fair in his treatment of others. His ability to establish rapport with people from all walks of life was unparalleled, and he was most respected because of his genuine concern for the well-being of those he met. Paul, in many respects, was the ideal police officer, mentor, and friend."

Update: Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 4:30 p.m.: The wife of a murdered former Jefferson City police officer has been arrested. Sandra Plunkett is currently in the Callaway County Jail... Sandra has not been charged yet.

Update: Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 7:20 p.m. -...Holts Summit Police arrested Sandra Plunkett... She is being held in the Callaway County Jail without bond. Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Wilson formally charged Plunkett with first degree murder just before 7 p.m. Tuesday in the shooting death of her husband Paul... He died while being life-flighted to the hospital. Police now say the story of the man in camouflage was made-up... [Holts Summit P.D. Marc] Haycook said Sandra has been cooperative in the investigation... A police department spokesman who said the entire department is saddened by the murder of their own. "Nobody had a bad thing to say about Paul. He was very well liked, not only by his peers here,” Jefferson City Police Dept. Cpt. Doug Shoemaker said. “He had a big group of friends outside of the department and even the people he dealt with. Situations that normally maybe negative police public situations, a traffic stop, an arrest, or something. Even those folks generally had high things to say about Paul"... On the day he was killed, he was at home recovering from a recent surgery.

Update: Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 7:50 p.m. -KRCG obtained court documents from Callaway County that said Sandra Plunkett admitted that she shot her husband, Paul Plunkett, in the head with a .22 caliber rifle. She then lead investigators to the .22 caliber rifle. Investigators said Sandra is being very cooperative.

Update: Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 8:25 p.m. -Police are forming a motive for the killing of Paul Plunkett, but won't talk about it further... The Holts Summit Police Chief Kyle McIntyre said Plunkett confessed to shooting her husband in the back of the head with a rifle during a polygraph test. He was lying in a hospital bed at the time, in the couple's bedroom... The couple filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against three University Hospital surgeons in December 2010 over what they claimed was a botched surgery.... The total damages the couple was seeking from the lawsuit is unknown, but Plunkett who was a nurse claimed she suffered emotionally and financially from her husband's condition... She was named in a wrongful death lawsuit in 2006, then a 2007 complaint prompted a lengthy investigation by the State Board of Nursing. Sandra lost her state nursing license just last month.

Update: Thursday, Jan. 6 at 7:35 p.m. -The Holts Summit Police Department released new details involving the New Years Day murder. The police department spokesman said it was obvious that Sandra Plunkett realized she could spend the rest of her life behind bars after she admitted to shooting her husband. In fact, Plunkett made a desperate move as she was being moved out of her holding cell on her way to jail. "She went for an officer's gun,” Haycook said. “It happened just in a split second, one minute she's sitting there, just calm as ever, quiet, not a problem and next thing you know, there's two officers battling for the officer's gun... That officer and another officer then had a brief struggle with Mrs Plunkett on the floor" ... Another detail the police are unsure of is why Sandra Plunkett murdered her husband... Haycook said there is no life insurance policies the department is aware of for Paul Plunkett except a small one from a police retirement program...


Update: Friday, Jan. 7 at 6:15 p.m. -The woman accused of killing her husband on New Year's Day made her first court appearance Friday morning. Sandra Plunkett, 37, appeared in a Callaway County court for an arraignment. Plunkett stood next to a public defender as the judge read the first degree murder charge against her... If convicted, she could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole. Services will be held Saturday afternoon for Paul Plunkett at the Houser-Millard Funeral Home and Sunday he will be laid to rest with full police honors in Dexter, Missouri.

Update: Sunday, Jan. 9 at 10:00 p.m. -Friends, family, and colleagues showed up to pay their last respects to a retired Jefferson City police officer. In Dexter, Missouri, Plunkett received full law enforcement honors at his funeral. Plunkett's wife, Sandra Plunkett, 37, was in Callaway county court Friday facing a first degree murder charge. Police say she confessed to shooting her husband while he lay in a hospital bed in their home.
[Full articles here]


PAUL PLUNKETT
Jefferson City News Tribune
January 6, 2011
[Excerpts] Paul Wade Plunkett, 52, of Holts Summit, passed away Saturday, January 1, 2011. He was born January 5, 1958, in Gobler, Missouri, a son of Paul Lee and Alta Duvall Plunkett. Paul was a 1975 graduate of Dexter High School and a 1997 graduate of Lincoln University. Paul was a law enforcement officer, starting his career with the Kennett Police Department and then the Butler County Sheriff's Department. In 1989, he joined the Jefferson City Police Department, where he had served on the SWAT Team, Community Policing Team, and was a Field Training Officer. He retired in 2008, as a Police Officer III. Paul was well respected by his co-workers and the citizens he came into contact with, and was a mentor to many of the younger officers he worked with. Following retirement, he owned and operated Bias Pest Control. He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, enjoyed hunting and fishing, and was an avid fan of the St. Louis Cardinals. Paul was also a guitar player, and had spent time in Nashville and toured with several performers including Norvel Felts and Loretta Lynn. He is survived by one son... one daughter... his mother... three brothers... three sisters... Graveside services and interment with full police honors will be held... Condolences may be left for the family online at millardfamilychapels.com [LINK]

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