2 of 9 sentenced in 2020 Lawrence County murder

LAWRENCE COUNTY, Mo. – The first 2 of 9 suspects in a Lawrence County murder learn their fate.

In 2020, authorities say 9 people played a role in the shooting death of Sarah C. Pasco, 27, of Aurora, Missouri. They were also involved in the non-fatal shooting of another woman. She told deputies her friend had been killed. Authorities did not identify the surviving victim.

Gary Hunter, Jr., 23, and Diona Parks, 26, both took a plea deal to avoid the death penalty. A judge gave Hunter 40 years in prison and Parks 30 years.

2020 Lawrence County Murder

On August 16, at around 10:14 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about shots fired. Deputies arrived at the location and found a woman shot multiple times. Emergency personnel airlifted her critical condition. She later was able to speak with detectives at Mercy Hospital in Springfield.

(Previous Story: Authorities investigate double shooting homicide in Lawrence County)

Deputies say the woman told them her friend had been killed at another location in Lawrence County. After a search, they found Pasco’s body.

The surviving victim and some of the suspects have spoken to investigators about the crime.

Prosecutors say the suspects kidnapped Pasco and a second female victim, forced them to dig their own grave, and then shot them. The suspects then left them for dead.

Newton County Rescue And Recovery Assists At The Well 2020 Lawrence Co Murder

Newton County Rescue and Recovery assists at the well near Miller where the two victims were shot (2020 Lawrence Co. murder)

The surviving victim says she was hiding under Pasco while one suspect was firing into the well, according to court documents. She says she was shot while inside the well and played dead until they left. She also told a detective that while at the well, she remembered seeing Dunham with Pasco’s sunglasses on her head.

You can read more details from court documents here: 9 arrested as documents detail a Lawrence County murder

2 Of 9 Sentenced In 2020 Lawrence County MurderSuspects

By Aug. 20, 2020, all 9 suspects were in custody. Prosecutors filed the following charges.

  • Gary W. Hunter, Jr., 23, Mt. Vernon – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Steven C. Calverley. 29, Republic – Requested charges of Murder 1st Degree, 1st Degree Assault,  Tampering with Evidence
  • Lyle B. Delong – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Andrew J. Cypret – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Diona L. Parks – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Frank J. Sheridan, 27, Aurora – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Kimberly K. Henderson, 47, Stotts City – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Siera Dunham – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree
  • Christina Knapp – Murder 1st Degree, Armed Criminal Action, Assault 1st Degree

(Previous Story: Two more suspects arrested in Lawrence County murder)

Newton County Rescue And Recovery Ambulance 2020 Lawrence Co Murder