Caulfield MO, Dennis Woodward, Elisabeth Gunter, Howell County MO, Joy Dishneau, Judge William Hickle, jury selection, murder, Naturally Enchanted, Norwood MO, opening statements, Phelps County MO, prosecution, Rizwan Ahad, robbery, Rolla MO, trial, Witnesses
Dishneau was the owner of several head shops that sold synthetic marijuana, fairies, dragons, t-shirts, oils, and candles. The shops were located in West Plains, Mo., Assumption, Ill.and Caulfield, Mo. The West Plains and Illinois shops had been closed just prior to her death.
Dishneau was stabbed in her home/shop in Caulfield just after New Year’s Eve 2012.
Woodward and his girlfriend Elisabeth Gunter former, employees/associates of Dishneau, have been accused of the home invasion robbery and murder.
Jury selection in Phelps County Circuit Court was accomplished today, and the trial opened before Judge William Hickle. Both the prosecution and defense presented their opening statements today, and the prosecution is expected to open their case Tuesday.
Lead attorney for the prosecution Howell County’s Rizwan Ahad told the Hill ’n Holler Review that the prosecution laid out the evidence for its case today. They said Dishneau spent the day shopping in Springfield, Mo., and purchased money orders there and on her way home. Meanwhile, Dennis and Elisabeth were laying plans to rob and kill Joy and drove to her Caulfield residence with the intent to rob and kill her. It took them an hour to drive from their home in Norwood, and they arrived at Dishneau’s shop/home at about 1 a.m. Jan. 1, 2012. When they looked in the window of her back door, they saw Dishneau sleeping on the couch, The prosecution contends they broke in and carried out the robbery, and Dishneau’s murder
The prosecution will call witnesses Tuesday including law enforcement and forensic specialists.
Although Woodward’s public defender, Kevin Babcock, made his opening statement today, he would not discuss its content.
Estimates project the trial could end by Thursday or could continue on to Friday of this week.
Woodward’s reported demeanor during the trial was quiet.
The murder occurred in Howell County, and Woodward was given a change of venue to Phelps County where the trial is being held.