Justice In California, Missouri

Missouri

The last few days have been quite emotional for many people here in Lebanon, Missouri. Let me get you up-to-date on the news story I am speaking of.

On June 10th, 2007 we had a very terrible crime happen here. Three teenage boy's were at one of the boy's houses. It was early evening and they were having fun. They were texting girls and just having a fun night. I will give you the names of two of those boys; Zach Jones and Matthew Bankston. These three boys had no idea they were going to have a most terrifying night. You see, they made a wrong number text. Next thing they know they are challenged to a fight. Fight is to take place at Atchley park here in Lebanon.

I am not going into deep details of this fight, but I will say that a group of adults and children showed up to fight with these three teens. They didn't come with the intent of a fist fight though. They came with baseball bats and pry bars and such.

At the end of this fight Zach Jones laid in a pool of blood; Matthew Bankston lay in a pool of blood, and the other boy ran in time to call for help. When police arrived the group was gone. Only two boys in the park; one died the next morning in St. Johns Hospital. Yes, Zach "Kickin' Wings" Jones was now in heaven. Matthew Bankston had been beaten to a point where he needed to re-learn to walk and talk.

Lebanon, Missouri was up in arms. Who could do such a thing?

Especially to two fun-loving teens?

Zach Jones
Zach Jones
Matthew Bankston
Matthew Bankston

The Killers

It wasn't long before it all came out who did this horrific crime. A whole family was involved. The main culprits in that family are pictured at the right.

All had multiple charges, including 1st degree murder. Here is what happened to the two men:

Terry Dunkin(husband of Kim) hung himself in county jail. He took the easy way out.

Jerry Broyles received 2 life sentences.

And lastly I spent the last two days at the full court hearing for Kim Dunkin. It was moved to Moniteau County in a change of venue. California, Missouri is the county seat.

In the aftermath of this crime and three weeks later my grandson being murdered I have got to know many people. Two of these wonderful people are Leslie, mother of the boy who ran and Tina Jones, Zach Jones' mom. Through both of these nightmares, we have held on to each other.

Tina and Leslie both invited me to go to this court with them and I now feel I was meant to be there.

After the jury had heard all the case and the prosecution could not put a weapon in Kim's hands, the jury was hard to read. Before the trial, the prosecutor made an offer to Kim for 23 years. She turned it down. With the jury in a wishy-washy way the defense attorney through out an offer of 5 years. The decision was Tina's and Matthew's. Tina was over-whelmed. She wanted our opinion's. I really didn't want to give one, but I did. I told Tina if it was me, I wouldn't want to wonder what the jury would have done. I told her if it was me, I would let the jury rule. Tina agreed and now I felt right in the midst. What if they let Kim go? Did I just offer bad advice? I value these two friendships very much and would I still have them after the ruling? It was a very sleepless night for me, full of prayer. When I jumped in that vehicle with Tina I asked how she felt. She said good and that she slept good. She felt she made the right decision.

The morning started with closing arguments. Both sides did their jobs quite well. I was worried.

I prayed and prayed. Tina prayed and prayed. Leslie prayed and prayed. Many others prayed.

The jury went to their private room to decide.

I will give the results but first watch this video on the whole story:

The Decision

The jury came in. They were all straight-faced. I could not read them at all. "Foreman of the jury, do you have a unanimous decision",the judge asked. "We do your honor."

There were four charges. 1st degree murder, 2 counts of 1st degree armed criminal action and 1st degree assault.

GUILTY ON ALL!

YES!! Justice finally!!!

The jury declared their sentence yesterday too. Murder-Life 1st degree assault-life armed criminal action 50 years each.

I must say that Kim Dunkin never showed remorse. She is evil and deserves all she is getting.

I saw a relief in Tina's eyes yesterday. My heart was warmed and I have gained some faith in the "system"

I must say that God was at work yesterday.

The good people of California, Missouri saw the truth and and they made it right.May God put a special blessing on the wonderful community of California, Missouri!

I really hope that some people will take a lesson from this. Think before you act!

Keep Kickin Wings Zach--We all love you!!



© G.L. Boudonck

© 2009 Greg Boudonck

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Comments 9 comments

1 juror 7 years ago

Thank YOU so much for writing this. I'm hoping to remain anonymous - just know that I was one of those jurors.

For several, if not most of us, it was our first time on jury duty. We had no idea what to expect. I can't imagine being one of those parents of Zach or Matt and having to sit through that hideous ordeal.

I'd like you all to know how very deeply what we saw and heard affected us. Without going into further detail, just know that you have made MY heart a bit lighter in being satisfied with the outcome. God knows it could never be enough. I saw family members and friends mouthing 'thank you' to us as we left the jury box for the last time. Amazing.

I speak for many when I say we hope God continues to hold you in his loving hands, and special blessings to Matt - he is just a fantastic young man.


Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 7 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico Author

Oh wow,last thing I expected was one of the jurors to see this. Thank you thank you and again I thank you. Tina thanks you. I was one of the friends sitting with Tina by the coatrack. I am so happy you did the right thing.

May God bless you all!!


G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Wow oh Wow what a story and then to have a juror respond...small world I must say? God's Will be done...and am so glad sometimes things go the way they should...My heart bleeds for you and my prayers are always for you...G-Ma :O) Hugs & Prayers


Kathee 7 years ago

Hi Froggy,

My blog is The Crime Scene. Thank you for visiting the blog. I enjoyed (I hate to use that word) your article.

Who was your grandson that was murdered?


Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 7 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico Author

Hi Kathee--my Grandson was Jonathan--23 months old and still no justice:

Read my Froggy World hubs.

Thanks Kathee


Froggy213 profile image

Froggy213 7 years ago from On A Mountain In Puerto Rico Author

Pulled the first comment for safe measures until after apr24th when the judge does the final ruling. Don't want to take any chances.

For friends and family who would like to see it--email me--


Kathee 7 years ago

Hey Froggy,

Once the jury reaches their verdict their service is over. They can talk to the media or whomever they choose too.

Now, it's a different story if they talked during the trial but in this case the email clearly stated that they were contacting you AFTER the verdict.

I would like to talk with you about your grandson.

Kathee

417-224-1897


ananymous 5 years ago

we were talking about cyber bullying in school today and this was one of the stories mentioned and i thought it was horriable of what happend but god is on our side.

god bless


IntimatEvolution profile image

IntimatEvolution 4 years ago from Columbia, MO USA

I am from the California area. It is a good community... But so is the town Zach and Matt are from. California is home to one of the worst killing sprees in Missouri history. It happened when I was living there in the early 90's... Bad people live everywhere. The 51 year old granmother who stood by and watched this crime is just as guilty. I know what I would have done if I would have been there, just the same as you know what you would have done... The people watching should have sheilded those boys, they're all guilty of being accessories to the murder of this boy. Gut wrenching, I tell ya, gut wrenching....

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