Saturday, January 11, 2014
Current lawmen and former colleagues of a Jefferson City police officer who was killed on New Year’s Day 2011 took to Facebook to remember him as the murder trial of his wife got underway this week.
After three hours of deliberation Friday, a jury found Sandra Plunkett guilty of first-degree murder in the death of her husband Paul, a retired officer. She was sentenced to life without parole.
Retired police officer Chester Brown said he changed his Facebook page picture to Paul Plunkett in order to support him.
Those who did post Plunkett’s photo said they hoped the former police officer could rest in peace after the guilty verdict against his wife.
They also had no problems talking about their feelings toward Sandra.
“I personally worked with Paul for many years and the remarks that Sandra made about him are completely false,” said Pam Gilligan. “Her claims of domestic violence were totally made up. I still can’t believe she killed Paul, who was confined to a hospital bed. Ruthless.”
Donna Hilgert, another co-worker of Plunkett’s, said: “I changed mine (Facebook photo) on New Year’s Day, the anniversary of his death, and kept it up through Sunday, Jan. 5, which would have been Paul’s birthday.
“It was done to pay tribute to Paul, a man loved and respected by every person he ever met — except that woman who murdered him. I remember Paul was a great singer and songwriter, too. He once brought a cassette tape into the break room and played it for me. It was four songs he had written and recorded. He was sending the songs to be copyrighted, and he hoped to have someone famous record his songs.”
“I changed my profile pic to Paul’s because he was a great person and friend and did not deserve what happened,” said former police officer Kenneth Vaughn. “Paul was just starting to recover from his surgery and feeling better when this happened.”
Mark Edwards is president of the Jefferson City Police Officers Association, a lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.
Plunkett belonged to the association, and the group helped Plunkett’s family with meals and lodging while he was in the hospital.
“He was a good co-worker, a good person and he knew his community and truly cared about it,” Edwards said.
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