Nona Dirksmeyer was 19 years old and lived in Russellville, Arkansas. She volunteered with Big Sisters and was scheduled to meet with a young girl she had paired up with. Afterward, she was found dead in her home. The police have not released a motive for the killing.
The day that Kevin Jones killed Nona Dirksmeyer was Dec. 15, 2005. He was “back home” and expected to hear from Nona after she had finished her final exam. When she didn’t call, he became worried about her safety. He drove her to a party, but Nona wasn’t responding. The next day, Kevin returned home and discovered that Nona was dead.
The murder weapon was found nearby. Blood splatter on the light bulb was also found. Besides the blood stain on the light bulb, there were no other signs of a break-in or sexual assault. Kevin was also covered in Nona’s blood and was finishing trying to revive her.
In 2005, Nona Dirksmeyer was beaten to death in her Russellville apartment. Initially, the murderer was charged with Kevin Jones, but the defendant was acquitted. DNA evidence tied Dunn to the crime, and prosecutors contacted the special prosecutor’s office.
In 2005, the death of Nona Dirksmeyer fueled speculation about who did it. The main suspects were Gary Dunn and Kevin Jones. Both men have denied the murder, but their lawyers still maintain that they are innocent. Gary Dunn’s attorney, Bill James, claims the evidence is weak and the jury’s verdict is fair and honest.
Before being accused of killing Nona Dirksmeyer, Gary Dunn was a felon. The case came to light after a woman, Kelly Jo Fitzharris, was running by when she heard footsteps. She turned around and saw Gary Dunn holding a large stick. Gary repeatedly beat her.
Prosecutors argued that Gary was linked to the crime scene with DNA evidence. However, the defense argued that this evidence was inconclusive. Nona’s DNA was not found on Gary.
There was a time when the DNA evidence of who killed Nona Dirksmeyer was in doubt. In 2005, the former beauty queen was found dead in her apartment. In 2007, Kevin Jones was accused of the crime but was acquitted. However, after the DNA evidence of who killed Nona Dirksmeyer was discovered, prosecutors charged Dunn. They turned to the special prosecutor’s office to assist them in the trial.
In April 2010, a new prosecutor was appointed to take the case. He found DNA evidence that could have tied Gary Dunn to the crime but also realized that the prosecutor’s alibi was unconvincing. The new prosecutor argued that Gary Dunn had been a violent sexual predator who had committed the crime.
In 2006, prosecutors tried to acquit Kevin Dirksmeyer in the murder of his former girlfriend, Nona Dirksmeyer. However, the jury was deadlocked. According to a statement released by the Russellville Police Department, Kevin Dirksmeyer was not the killer. Instead, the suspect was their boyfriend, Dirksmeyer. The Associated Press reported that DNA evidence and blood found at the scene did not link Jones to the crime scene.
Kevin’s defense team argued that the police did not conduct a thorough investigation and did not gather all of the evidence. Although the police questioned Kevin, they only focused on him, as Nona’s murder had happened the day before. The police also noted that he was a parolee living across the street from Nona. In addition, he failed a polygraph test and argued that he was not responsible for Nona’s death.
Kevin Jones, one of Nona Dirksmeyer’s neighbors, was a prime suspect in her murder, and he was arrested and tried for it. But, a jury in 2007 found him not guilty of her death based on insufficient evidence. Fortunately, the jury’s decision was overturned after a DNA match proved that he was not the real killer.
Kevin contacted a friend named Ryan, who had delivered pizza in the neighborhood, and sent him to Nona’s apartment in Russellville. Ryan knocked on her door, but there was no answer. Kevin then drove over to her apartment and forced open a sliding glass door on the backside of the apartment. Once inside, he stabbed her and turned her over. After Kevin told the police about the murder, the police decided to investigate his story.
A mistrial for Gary’s murder of Nona Dirksmeyer has led to a retrial for the crime. While prosecutors say the DNA evidence was a match, Gary’s defense argued that the evidence was suspect and the prosecutor lacked evidence of a sexual assault. The case was retried in July 2012, and a jury found Gary guilty.
During Gary Dunn’s trial, his lawyers mocked the testimony of the first suspect, Kevin Jones. In court, Jones testified that he had been watching the CBS crime show “CSI” before he was questioned about the crime. Nonetheless, Jones is still a suspect in the case.