Sunday, January 12, 2014
Family and friends of Sandra Plunkett were emotional in court Friday after the guilty verdict was read. Some cried and shared tissues, knowing her sentence for the murder of her husband, Paul Plunkett, was life in prison without parole.
None of Sandra Plunkett’s family wanted to talk to the media, but her parents appointed a long-time family friend to speak on the family’s behalf.
Vince Halbert said he knew Sandra Plunkett for most of her life because she attended school with his son. He said Sandra Plunkett’s family is taking the verdict “very hard.”
“It’s tough to think that you’re daughter is going to prison for life,” Halbert said.
Halbert said he didn’t think the jury was told Sandra Plunkett’s full story and wished the jury would have considered her accounts of abuse more into consideration. With that, he said the verdict was “very harsh” and the jury could have opted for a lesser charge like second-degree murder or manslaughter.
Halbert said he also wished Sandra Plunkett would’ve spoken up about any abuse, but added she was a private person who didn’t tend to air out her “dirty laundry.”
“If we would’ve known, we could’ve helped,” Halbert said.
Halbert said he was aware of Sandra Plunkett's drug history, but was unaware if her family was or not.
He said Sandra Plunkett’s family and friends will take life “one day at a time” following the verdict.
Paul Plunkett’s family released a statement Friday following the guilty verdict:
“On behalf of Paul’s son, Josh, his brothers, sisters and the entire Plunkett family, we are grateful for the justice achieved in today’s verdict.”
The statement also addresses how they remember Paul Plunkett, whose reputation was debated in court when Sandra Plunkett alleged he was abusive.
“While we are certainly hurt by the lack of remorse and falsehoods presented by the defendant, we sincerely appreciate the patience and wisdom demonstrated by the judge and jury in this trial,” the statement reads. “It is also our hope the Jefferson City community will choose to remember the reputation Paul achieved prior to his murder; a person committed to public service, a person who believed in the criminal justice system, a person who treated people fairly regardless of their status and one with an outstanding personality that so many recognized and expressed to the family during his extended sickness and death.”
The release also states understanding the situation was a challenge for both Paul and Sandra Plunkett’s families.
“In closing, Paul’s friends and family will never be able to fill the void created by his death, but we feel confident that he’s extremely honored by the public support that has been extended to our family.”
Paul Plunkett’s family did not wish to speak in detail about the trial, but Carroll Lee Plunkett, Paul’s eldest brother, did tell media: “There’s no win in a situation like this.”
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