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Monday, January 13, 2014

[MO] Sandra Plunkett gets life in prison for killing retired police officer husband Paul

Retired Jefferson City Police Officer III
(January 5, 1958 - January 1, 2011)

A jury of seven women and five men found [Sandra] Plunkett guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action Friday in the death of her husband Paul Plunkett, a former Jefferson City police officer... For the murder conviction, she was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole...

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

Sandra Plunkett's presented heroin use, her contacting a hit man, her multiple stories of how and why Paul was shot and other elements all worked together against the abused woman defense.

January 10, 2014
[Excerpts] A central Missouri woman has been convicted of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the fatal shooting of her husband, a retired Jefferson City police officer... [Sandra] Plunkett testified during the trial that she shot Paul Plunkett in self-defense on Jan. 1, 2011. Plunkett said had long been abused by her husband, who was bedridden with a debilitating illness.But prosecutors presented evidence that Plunkett's heroin addiction had ruined the couple's finance... Sentencing is scheduled for March 3. The trial was heard by a jury imported from northwest Missouri's Buchanan County. [Full article here]

by Meghan Lane
Posted: 01.10.2014
[Excerpts]  A jury has convicted the Holts Summit woman charged with killing her husband. Sandra Plunkett was convicted of first degree murder and armed criminal action for shooting and killing her husband New Year’s Day 0f 2011. For the murder conviction, she was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole. The case went to the jury Friday morning. During closing arguments Friday, prosecutors said the murder of Paul Plunkett, a former Jefferson City police officer, was premeditated... Prosecutors also said his murder was not a mercy killing... They argued Sandra viewed him as a burden because of his health and that’s why she killed him. Sandra’s defense argued she could not go to the police because her husband used to work for them, and argued her drug use did not lead to her shooting her husband because she used them as a coping mechanism... She also stated her husband never assaulted her in front of anyone, it was always when they were alone.  She added he was trained in judo and would use it on her... She said at one point she went to a shelter for help, but testified she was turned away because her husband was a police officer in the area... In a taped interview with police Wednesday, Sandra Plunkett admitted to police she was the person who shot her husband, Paul, a retired Jefferson City police officer. When an officer asked her during the interview why she shot him, she stated “he begged me to”... During the interview when she admitted shooting her husband, Plunkett said she shot him about 9:30 a.m., went to the gas station, and then to a friends house to do heroin... [Sandra] Plunkett had told authorities she saw a gunman in camouflage clothing walking around the neighborhood... Sandra tried to pawn a rifle a week before her husband’s murder, but they couldn’t find it after the shooting. The state claims Sandra Plunkett killed her husband with a .22 caliber rifle while he was laying in a hospital bed in the couple's living room... [Full article here]


Fulton Sun
Sunday, January 12, 2014
[Excerpts] A jury of seven women and five men found [Sandra] Plunkett guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action Friday in the death of her husband Paul Plunkett, a former Jefferson City police officer. The jury deliberated the case for three hours. Paul Plunkett died Jan. 1, 2011 from a gunshot wound to the head. Three days later, Sandra Plunkett confessed to investigators she committed the murder. The prosecution, led by Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Wilson, stated Sandra Plunkett murdered her husband in order to claim a $100,000 life insurance policy to pay for her heroin addiction. Justin Carver, public defender, represented Sandra Plunkett who pleaded not guilty, claiming the murder was an act of self defense against an abusive husband... The first story she told investigators on the day of her husband’s death that she saw a man wearing camo and holding a gun on her street... Jan. 4, 2011 she told investigators Paul Plunkett wanted to die in order to end suffering from an inflammatory colon disease... A key witness for the prosecution was Randy Deppe, who is currently serving time in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Deppe claimed Sandra Plunkett asked him to be her hit man or find someone who would murder her husband... Carver’s closing argument was largely based on the idea that police officers are loyal to one another. This loyalty, Carver said, was reason for Sandra Plunkett not to report abuse from her ex-cop husband... “Who do you call if it’s the police that’s the problem?” Carver asked the jury... [Full article here]


January 10, 2014

This is probably one of the hardest press releases I have ever written and I am sure the members of the media will agree it is the most personal they have seen from me. The reason it is personal is because Paul Plunkett was a member of a small community and a fellow police officer. Despite what the defense said about Paul during the trial, those that knew Paul knew he was a good man.

With the jury’s decision to return a guilty verdict, Paul’s family and his law enforcement brothers and sisters can now begin to put this case behind them. Many of the officers working on this investigation knew Paul personally; however they remained true to their oath and acted professionally when dealing with Sandra despite knowing she was the person responsible for Paul’s death.

As a department, we would like to thank the Jefferson City Police Department and the Missouri Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control. Because of the immense cooperation between the three agencies we were able to quickly make an arrest in this case and we were ultimately able to deliver a strong case to Callaway County Prosecutor Chris Wilson, who also deserves credit for today’s guilty

Finally we would like to thank the men and women from Buchanan County who gave up their time to serve on this jury. As with any murder trial, these men and women heard testimony and saw evidence that will forever impact their lives and for this we are grateful to them.

For additional information, please contact Sergeant Marc Haycook at 573-353-3462 or via email at



On behalf of Paul's son, josh, his brothers, sisters and the entire Plunkett family, we are grateful for the justice achieved in today's verdict. It has obviously been a long, difficult and stressful three years for everyone involved. While we are certainly hurt by the lack of remorse and falsehoods presented by the defendant, We sincerely appreciate the patience and wisdom demonstrated by the Judge and jury in this trial. Itis also our hope the Jefferson City community will choose to remember the reputation Paul achieved prior to his murder; a person committed to public service, a person who believed in the criminal justice system, a person who treated people fairly regardless of their status and one with an outstanding personality that so many recognized and expressed to the family during his extended sickness and death.

While We sincerely hope that no one is overlooked, We would like to thank the Holts Summit Police Department, Jefferson City Police Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol, Callaway County Sheriffs Office, Cole County Sheriffs Office, Medical Examiner's Office, various medical personnel and private citizens who spent countless hours and effort to present the facts and bring this case to a successful end. In addition to these individuals, we would like to give special recognition to Prosecutor Chris Wilson and his staff at the Callaway County Prosecutor's Office. From the beginning moments, these individuals have been incredible victim’s advocates for Paul's family and recently sacrificed a majority of their holiday season to ensure this case would be ready for trial. As witnessed by those who attended, Mr. Wilson and his staff did an outstanding job of separating fact from fiction and presented a compelling case for the jury to consider. For this effort, Mr. Wilson and his staff will always have our deepest respect and appreciation. in closing, Paul's family and friends will never be able to fill the void created by his death, but we feel confident that he's extremely honored by the public support that has been extended to our family.

Understanding this has been a difficult time for both families, We would ask that you honor our privacy and keep all parties in your thoughts and prayers in the days to come.

There will be no further comment on this matter.
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence ipv abuse law enforcement public safety lethal fatality fatalities murder missouri state politics female perp]


  1. Plain and simple! The Jury got this wrong! And by no means intentionally. But through half-truths and testimony from far from reliable persons.
    I am sickened by the Public Defenders lack of presenting vital evidence which I made available 19 months prior to the verdict. In no way accidental, over looked or unknowningly critical to this womans charges.

  2. Guilty as charged.


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