Second time was the charm for the Howell County prosecution headed by Rizwan Ahad, who had failed to convince a hung jury in early April of Woodward’s guilt. That jury consisted of ten men and two women.
A jury of ten women and two men today found Woodward guilty of his part in the home invasion and murder of Dishneau, who was his former employer and associate. Also charged in the case was his girlfriend Elisabeth Gunter, who was the prosecution’s star witness against him.
Woodward was 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.
A sentencing hearing for Woodward will be held before Circuit Court Judge William Hickle 9 a.m. Sept. 11.
Gunter, also granted a change of venue, is scheduled to appear in Carter County before Howell County Judge David Evans for a trial setting on Aug. 11. Gunter reportedly received a deal with the state for a 23-year sentence for her testimony against Woodward.
Woodward has been found guilty of his part in the stabbing death of Joy Dishneau, the owner of a string of head shops that sold synthetic marijuana, fairies, wizards and clothing located in Assumption, Ill., West Plains, Mo., and Caulfield, Mo., where the murder took place.
Dishneau was found dead in her home/shop after being killed in a home invasion early Jan 1, 2012. She was known to keep large amounts of money, but Woodward and Gunter failed to find the stash. Dishneau was killed for a computer, a big screen TV, a digital camera, merchandise, and several money orders she had purchased the day before her death.
The prosecution followed the money trail citing Woodward’s deposit of the money order cash in his account, and both he and Gunter went out and bought vehicles after the robbery/murder.
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.