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Wife to be arraigned today on murder charges

Wife to be arraigned today on murder charges

January 7th, 2011 in News

Sandra Plunkett

The first court appearance for a Holts Summit woman accused of killing her husband, a former Jefferson City police officer, is scheduled for this morning at the Callaway County Courthouse in Fulton.

Sandra Plunkett, 37, will appear before Judge Carol England to face a first-degree murder charge in connection with the death of Paul Plunkett, 52.

Paul was shot in the back of the head, and authorities said Sandra confessed to the killing during an interrogation.

"We still have nothing certain to be able to pinpoint to the motive for the killing," said Holts Summit police Officer Marc Haycook during a media briefing Thursday.

Haycook also said investigators have looked into what has happened in Sandra's past and believe there is no reason to suspect there is any connection with those happenings and the murder that occurred at the Plunketts' home on New Year's Day.

Sandra's nursing license was revoked about a month ago after an incident involving controlled substances and "gross negligence" during an overnight shift in September 2007 at St. Mary's Health Center, when she worked there.

Nine months earlier, she was named in a wrongful death lawsuit.

"I think it's finally settling in as to what has happened," Haycook said. "Mrs. Plunkett is being provided with legal representation, and I am sure she is now aware this could be a capital murder case. Prior to being transported from our offices to the Callaway County Jail, there was an incident in which Mrs. Plunkett made an attempt to disarm one of the officers involved in the case. I cannot get into specific details about the incident, but I can say Mrs. Plunkett did not gain control of the officer's weapon."

Haycook said they did recover the .22-caliber rifle that was used in the killing and that Sandra led investigators to where she had left it.

"As you know, we were originally looking for a man in camouflage," Haycook continued. "We now know that story was entirely false and was provided by Mrs. Plunkett as a way to cover up her crime. During the course of the investigation, we have talked to other individuals to determine if anyone else was involved. And so far, our investigation leads us to believe this crime was committed solely by Mrs. Plunkett."

"We don't think we've left any stone unturned, but if someone hasn't come forward, we are wrapping things up so we would like to get everything in as soon as possible," Haycook added.

Anyone with information they think could help authorities can still call the Holts Summit Police Department at 896-8410 or Callaway County Crimestoppers at 592-2474.

A visitation for Paul Plunkett will be held from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at Houser-Millard Funeral Home; funeral services will start at 3 p.m.

Burial with full police honors will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Sycamore Cemetery in Dexter.

Expressions of sympathy can be made to the Fraternal Order of Police.