1st degree robbery, armed criminal action, Assumption IL, cash, Caulfield MO, counts, Dennis Woodward, Elisabeth Gunter, employees, head shops, Hill 'n Holler Review, Howell County MO, interview, Joy Dishneau, Judge David Paul Evans, Judge William Hickle, life without parole, mistrial, money orders, murder one, murder two, Naturally Enchanted, New Year’s Day 2012, Norwood MO, plea bargain, Rolla MO, sentences, stabbing, synthetic marijuana, tampering with a murder vehicle, trial, universe, West Plains MO
Phelps County Circuit Court Judge William E. Hickle also handed down an additional 105 years to be served concurrently for the four other counts. Woodward was convicted of lst degree robbery, 30 years; two counts of armed criminal action, 30 years each; murder one, life without parole; and tampering with a motor vehicle, 15 years.
His girlfriend, Elsabeth Gunter, testified against him for the state in both the trials held this year. Woodward’s first trial ended up in a mistrial when the jury failed to reach a verdict. His second trial resulted in guilty on all five counts.
Gunter plea bargained out and is serving 18 years for murder two (instead of the murder one charge originally filed against her) and concurrent sentences of 20 years for the robbery and motor vehicle theft charge. The judge who approved this package is Howell County Judge David Paul Evans. The two armed criminal action charges were dropped. Her plea was entered on Aug. 11 after Woodward’s second trial.
The murderous pair were arrested shortly after the murder early New Year’s Day 2012. Gunter and Woodward, living in Norwood, Mo., at the time, and who were associates and employees of Joy Dishneau, broke into the back of her house apparently overnight and stabbed her with a sharpened letter opener. Both Gunter and Woodward wore rubber gloves during the commission of the crime.
Dishneau ran a string of head shops that had sold synthetic marijuana, and she was known to keep large amounts of cash around. Although the pair stole money orders and other items, they failed to find the cash stash which was hidden in plain view and reportedly found by Dishneau’s family.
In an interview with Dishneau prior to the murder, Dishneau told the Hill’n Holler Review that she was puzzled over Gunter’s seeking a protection order against her over the ownership of property in Assumption, Ill., Gunter’s home town. Gunter ran a head shop, Naturally Enchanted, for Dishneau there, and Dishneau had recently closed it down. She had also closed her Naturally Enchanted shop in West Plains, Mo., following protests against the store.
Dishneau told the Hill ’n Holler that she was not going to pursue the matter and that she was going to let the universe settle it.
Sometimes the universe seems slow . . . .
— Caroll Lucas
©2014 Hill ’n Holler Review