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Dennis Woodward

Dennis Woodward

Rolla, Mo. — The second trial of Norwood, Mo., man Dennis Woodward for the murder of Naturally Enchanted’s Joy Dishneau opened here today with jury selection that resulted in a jury of two men and ten women with four alternates who are also women.
Woodward is being tried for a second time this week after his first trial here in early April resulted in a hung jury and was declared a mistrial. That jury consisted of ten men and two women.
Woodward and his girlfriend Elisabeth Gunter were charged with the murder of Dishneau during a home invasion/robbery early on New Year’s Day 2012.
Dishneau was the owner of Naturally Enchanted, a string of head shops in Missouri and Illinois that sold synthetic marijuana, candles, fairies, and clothing. She owned stores in Assumption, Ill., West Plains, Mo., and Caulfield, Mo., where she also lived and the murder/robbery took place. At the time of her death Dishneau was in the process of shutting down the Illinois and West Plains stores. Gunter and her boyfriend reportedly ran the Assumption, Ill., store.
After the defense hammered away at Gunter’s motives and involvement in Dishneau’s death they are expected to again go after the state’s star witness. They are also expected to bring up the unidentified cigarette butt found in Dishneau’s Jeep Liberty which was taken from her property the night of the invasion/murder.
This time the state is expected to call two new witnesses
Gunter is expected to be called tomorrow (Tuesday ) or Wednesday, and the trial could run through Friday with the defense taking over possibly Thursday.
Woodward did not take the stand at his last trial and is not expected to be called for this trial.
Woodward is charged with 1st Degree murder, two counts of Armed Criminal Action, 1st Degree Robbery, and 1st Degree Tampering with a Motor Vehicle. Originally charged in Howell County, his trial was moved to Phelps County on a change of venue.
Gunter will appear in court in Van Buren, Carter County, Mo., on Aug. 11.
Prior to the opening of this trial Woodward filed a motion to replace Kevin Babcock, the public defender who has been with him since the start of the case. His motion was denied.
To view the Probable Cause statement for this case, click HERE.
To see other Hill ’n Holler news stories on the Joy Dishneau murder case, click HERE.
Dennis Woodward was escorted by police after a mistrial was declared in Phelps County in April. Woodward is currently being held in prison on a jailbreak charge. (Hill 'n Holler staff photo)

Dennis Woodward was escorted by police after a mistrial was declared in Phelps County in April. Woodward is currently being held in prison on a jailbreak charge. (Hill ‘n Holler staff photo)

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