Kevin Wayne Dunlap,
DOB 5-15-72, was sentenced to death March 19, 2010 in Livingston
County. On October 15, 2008, Dunlap stabbed and killed a 5 year old
boy, and his 14 and 17 year old sisters in their home. He then
raped and attempted to murder their mother by stabbing her with a
knife. When he thought that the mother was dead, he set fire to
the home and left.
He was arrested on 10/18/2008. He was convicted on the
following crimes: Murder (Capital)-3cts; Kidnapping-Victim Death
(Capital)-3cts; Kidnapping-With Serious Physical Injury; Rape 1st
Degree with Serious Physical Injury; Arson 1st Degree; Criminal
Attempt-Murder; Burglary 1st Degree; Tampering With Physical
Judge upholds Dunlap death sentence
By Kevin Hoffman - KentuckyNewEra.com
March 20, 2010
SMITHLAND, Ky. — Kevin Dunlap returned to a
Livingston County courtroom for a final time Friday, dressed head to
heel in blaze orange prison garb assigned to all inmates at Kentucky
Today, he’ll begin wearing red — the same color as
the other 34 death row convicts across the Commonwealth.
“Your admission to those crimes speaks better than
I ever could,” Trigg Circuit Judge C.A. “Woody” Woodall said during
Dunlap’s sentencing hearing. Dunlap, 37, admitted to murdering three
children and attempting to kill their mother at their Roaring Spring
home in 2008. “The (jury’s) verdict was fair, it was a just verdict,
so I agree our journey to justice is about to end here.”
Woodall denied a retrial motion filed by Dunlap’s
attorneys and upheld a jury’s decision to send him to death. Friday
was Dunlap’s first court appearance since last month when a jury heard
four days of testimony and determined he should receive six death
Defense attorneys Jason Pfeil and James Gibson
asked for a retrial on March 1 based on what they called errors in
court proceedings that included Woodall’s decision to not recuse
himself and denying Dunlap’s plea of guilty but mentally ill.
In addition to the death penalty, Woodall also
fixed punishments Friday for non-capital offenses. During his trial,
Dunlap waived his right to have a jury decide a sentence on those
Dunlap was given 55 years for first-degree
burglary, tampering with physical evidence and attempted murder and
three life sentences for first-degree arson, kidnapping and rape — the
maximum for each crime. He was credited with already serving 518 days.
Dunlap pleaded guilty on Feb. 9 to the murders of
Kayla Williams, 17, Kortney McBurney-Frensley, 14, and Ethan Frensley,
5, and the rape and attempted murder of Kristy Frensley. He then set
the home on fire and fled the scene.
Williams’ father, Doug Williams, read a prepared
statement to the courtroom Friday, calling Dunlap a “coward” and
“monster” for the crimes he committed. He asked Woodall to stand by
the jury’s decision to give Dunlap the death penalty.
“I still find it hard to understand how you can sit
motionless, emotionless and void of reaction as the many photos and
accounts of the aftermath of your crimes were described in great
detail to this courtroom,” he said. “It’s clearly evident that you
have no remorse for your crimes against my family and this society.
“I only regret I cannot be allowed to determine
your punishment on my own and carry it out as your personal
Kristy Frensley and other family cried in the back
row of the courtroom as Williams read his statement. Dunlap’s mother,
Sheila, and brother, Blyth, attended the trial from Texas but were not
present during the sentencing.
“I hate you (with) every fiber of my being and I
only wish I was able to bring you a fraction of the pain you brought
my daughter and her siblings,” Williams said.
Commonwealth’s Attorney G.L. Ovey followed
Williams’ speech by telling Woodall a death sentence would bring
justice to the victim’s family.
“That’s all the system can do,” he said. “If
there’s ever a case … that cries out for the death penalty, it is this
Dunlap has the right to an appeal, which the
Department of Public Advocacy must file within 30 days, and the
verdict will automatically be reviewed by the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Since being sentenced by a jury, Dunlap has been
held at the state penitentiary in Eddyville, removed from general
population. A prison employee said in February he would be put on
death row immediately following his formal sentencing.
Former soldier Kevin Dunlap
sentenced to death
March 19, 2010
SMITHLAND, Ky. – A judge has sentenced a former
soldier to death Friday for killing three children and brutally
attacking their mother in Trigg County, near the Ft. Campbell Army
post, two years ago.
Thirty-seven-year-old Kevin Wayne Dunlap of
Hopkinsville received six death penalties, three life sentences and 55
years in prison in a Livingston Circuit Court.
The judge denied Dunlap a retrial which his
attorneys requested last week.
Dunlap pleaded guilty February 9 for killing
17-year-old Kayla Williams, 14-year-old Kortney Frensley and
5-year-old Ethan Frensley.
He is also guilty of attempted
murder for assaulting their mother, Kristy Frensley.
Investigators found the victims' bodies inside a
burned home in Trigg County in October of 2008.
Autopsy results show they died of stab wounds.
Youngest Dunlap victim suffered most stab wounds
By Julia Hunter - KentuckyNewEra.com
February 19, 2010
SMITHLAND, Ky. — Kevin Dunlap stabbed 5-year-old
Ethan Frensley more times than any of his other victims, Dr. Deidre
Schluckebier, regional medical examiner for western Kentucky,
He was stabbed 11 times, she said. One of the
wounds penetrated his heart.
His sister, 14-year-old Kortney McBurney-Frensley,
was stabbed four times — three times in the chest and once in her
neck. Another sister, 17-year-old Kayla Williams, died from a deep
slash to her throat, Schluckebier said. She was also stabbed in the
Kentucky’s forensic anthropologist, Dr. Emily
Craig, testified this morning in Livingston Circuit Court about her
efforts to recover the badly charred bodies of Ethan and Kortney.
After they were stabbed to death, Dunlap set the house ablaze.
“The remains and associated debris in these cases
are so incredibly fragile, so we know we’re only going to get one
chance to do it right,” Craig said.
She described to jurors how she dug a pathway to
the bodies to preserve the crime scene.
“There was a lot of debris on top of (Ethan),” she
“A ceiling fan and a bed were directly on top of
Kortney’s remains were found about 10 feet away.
After the bodies were recovered and sent to the
medical examiner’s office in Madisonville, Schluckebier asked for
Craig’s assistance in the skeletal examination, Craig’s area of
Craig showed jurors photos this morning of Ethan’s
thoracic bones. Close-up shots, she explained, illustrated force used
in the attack. One of his ribs was completely split.
Schluckebier also testified about a serrated steak
knife that broke off at the handle during Kayla’s attack. The blade
was found during the autopsy in Kayla’s sweatshirt, she said.
Today marks the second day of testimony in the
sentencing phase of Kevin Dunlap’s murder trial.
The defense has not cross-examined any of the
witnesses called by the prosecution.
Dunlap pleaded guilty last week to 13 counts — 6 of
them capital offenses — relating to the fatal stabbing of the three
children and the rape and attempted murder of their mother, Kristy
Frensley, on Oct. 15, 2008. Although his attorneys advised him against
the plea, Dunlap told Circuit Judge C.A. “Woody” Woodall he thought it
was the right thing to do.
A jury, which was seated after six days of
questioning, will decide his fate. He faces 20 years in prison to the
More than a house fire
When neighbors noticed smoke billowing from the
home at 169 Military Road, they worried Kristy Frensley and her
children were still inside.
Karen Walker saw the blaze after picking up her son
from school. When she saw Kristy Frensley’s Jeep in the driveway, she
knew who was inside.
“I just kept screaming, ‘There are babies in
there,’” Walker testified Thursday, sobbing.
Shane Lawry, a Fort Campbell soldier who lived on a
nearby road, was packing for redeployment to Afghanistan when he
noticed the smoke.
“People were yelling kids were inside the house,”
He went into the burning home through the front
door, and yelled to see if anyone was inside. He didn’t hear a
response, and when the smoke and heat became overwhelming, he got out,
Then he saw someone’s foot in a window.
Lawry and other neighbors grabbed a chair and broke
the glass, eventually pulling Kayla Williams from the inferno.
“When we grabbed her legs, it was so hot it
startled us. So we pulled back and it ripped her skin off onto our
Neighbors then realized the 17-year-old’s throat
had been cut and her legs and arms were bound. She’d been gagged with
a pair of pantyhose, testimony revealed.
Walker and another woman tried to administer CPR to
Williams, but were unsuccessful.
She was trying to breathe, Walker said.
“I knew in my mind there was nothing that could be
done,” Trigg County Sheriff’s Deputy Kenneth Butts said Thursday.
Eventually, emergency personnel put a defibrillator
pack on Williams’ heart, but it failed to revive her.
Williams would die minutes later, her brother and
sister still inside the burning home.
One of the volunteer firefighters who responded to
the blaze had been at the home an hour earlier.
Matt Ledford testified Thursday he’d stopped at the
Frensleys around 4:30 p.m. It was part of an almost daily routine, as
he was a close family friend.
When no one answered his knocks, he opened the
"I may have stepped in maybe a half a foot or a
foot, that’s it,” Ledford said.
He didn’t call for anyone, and said the only noise
he heard was that of the swimming pool pump motor.
Ledford drove to Hopkinsville after leaving Trigg
County and had just got to town when he was paged to the fire.
When he arrived, he saw the body of a close friend,
17-year-old Kayla Williams, lying near the house. Kristy Frensley, her
mother, was floating face-up in the pool with her hands tied behind
her back, he said.
Ledford stayed at the scene into the next morning,
only leaving for an hour in the middle of the night.
The extended-bed truck he saw in the driveway when
he stopped by earlier suddenly became more important.
“The first three letters of the tag were H-E-Y —
‘Hey,’ Ledford said. “That’s why I remembered it.”
Surviving a nightmare
When Kristy Frensley was admitted to Jennie Stuart
Medical Center after being attacked in her home, she was riddled with
It wasn’t until an X-ray was done that doctors
discovered a broken-off butter knife lodged in her neck, testimony
Dr. Frances Marshall Vanmeter removed the knife
during surgery, and closed up what wounds he could. The 36-year-old
patient was cold to the touch and had a rapid heart beat when she was
admitted, Vanmeter testified Thursday.
Frensley had been brought to the hospital after
emergency personnel found her floating face up in the pool near her
burning house. Butts, who’d known Kristy Frensley most of her life,
was the first police officer on the scene.
When the former firefighter arrived and saw the
inferno, he knew it was a crime scene, Butts testified Thursday.
“I knew there was no way to go in and come out
alive,” he said.
He started taking photographs of the crime scene,
and when he got to the patio, someone spotted Frensley in the pool.
“I asked her, ‘Kristy, what happened?’ She said
‘I’ve been raped.’ I said ‘Kristy, who did it?’ She said, ‘I didn’t
When Butts asked for a description, Frensley said
the man was white and had been wearing a DIRECTV shirt.
Butts helped pull Frensley from the pool and put
her on a stretcher before riding with her in an ambulance. He held her
head the entire ride, he said.
Embedded in time
Photos shown Thursday took jurors back to Oct. 15,
They depicted a burning house, a bloodied Kristy
Frensley floating in her pool and graphic images of three slain
A defibrillator pack still rested on Kayla
William’s chest. Her throat had been slit from ear to ear and soot
marked her face.
Commonwealth’s Attorney G.L. Ovey pointed to two
other pictures. He said they were of Kortney McBurney-Frensley and
Ethan Frensley. The unrecognizable images depicted only charred
remains amid scorched rubble.
Other images showed the home fully engulfed in
Kristy Frensley’s journey — from pool to hospital —
was depicted pictorially. A hospital room showed blood-soaked gauze
and close-ups of her wounds.
She’d left the courtroom before photos of her slain
children were shown, but several muffled sobs could be heard as they
were projected on the television screen. Doug Williams, Kayla’s
father, wiped tears from his face.
Ex-soldier charged in slayings
By Dylan T. Dovan - The Associated
October 21, 2008
ROARING SPRING, Ky. — A man accused of killing
three siblings in southwest Kentucky once lived near the slain teenage
girls and their brother, state police said Tuesday.
Kevin Wayne Dunlap, 36, of Hopkinsville, once lived
“down the road” from the home in Trigg County near Fort Campbell where
the three were slain last week, Trooper Dean Patterson said. It is
possible “that they at least knew each other,” said Patterson, who
declined to elaborate.
The statement came a day after Dunlap’s initial
court appearance by video from jail in neighboring Christian County,
where he remains without bond. He was represented by a public defender
and did not enter a plea to three counts of capital murder and other
charges in the slayings of Kayla Williams, 17; Kortney Frensley, 14;
and Ethan Frensley, 5.
The three were found dead in a burning house in
Roaring Spring last week. Their mother, Kristy Frensley, was wounded
but survived. Dunlap was arrested Saturday, three days after the fire.
Dunlap also faces charges of kidnapping, rape,
attempted murder, burglary and tampering with physical evidence.
Police have not said who they believe was raped. A coroner’s statement
said the older girl died from a cut to the neck and the younger
children died of multiple stab wounds.
Dunlap’s public defender James Gibson said Tuesday
he had no comment on the case. A preliminary hearing was set for
One of Dunlap’s former addresses is six houses down
from Frensley’s on a rural road with a row of homes on one side. The
burned remains of Frensley’s home is clearly visible from the backyard
of the tiny house with brown siding where Dunlap lived.
A few bouquets of flowers and a stuffed teddy bear
lined the road near the mailbox in front of Frensley’s house on
Dunlap is a father of at least two young children,
according to records from a Christian County divorce case that was
dismissed in 2004 without dissolving the marriage.
He served in the Army from 1989 until 2002,
according to Master Sgt. Keith O’Donnell, spokesman for U.S. Army
Human Resources Command. After being released from the Army, he served
two years with the Kentucky National Guard in a now defunct unit based
in Hopkinsville, guard spokesman David Altom said.
G.L. Ovey, the commonwealth’s attorney for Trigg
County, said there are no plans for a grand jury to meet before
Friday, so the preliminary hearing will likely go forward.
Ovey said the case qualifies for the death penalty
due to aggravating charges, but he wouldn’t comment on whether he
plans to seek it.
Brad Phelps, who lives next to Dunlap’s former
residence, said he recently moved in and was upset by the killings
just down the street.
“It takes some innocence away from what I see as a
good neighborhood,” he said. “Leaving your door unlocked, them days is
Hopkinsville man charged in triple homicide
Reed - KentuckyNewEra.com
CADIZ, Ky. — Kentucky State Police arrested a
Hopkinsville man and charged him in the deaths of three Trigg County
children at their home in Roaring Springs.
Kevin Dunlap, 35, was charged at 1:30 p.m. Saturday
with three counts of capital murder and one count of attempted murder,
said Trooper Dean Patterson, a KSP spokesman.
Dunlap also is charged with four counts of capital
kidnapping, three counts of tampering with physical evidence and one
count each of burglary and rape.
He was taken into custody shortly after 8 a .m.
Saturday at his home, where several police officers and a KSP SWAT
Team converged. Authorities put the house, at 2503 Cox Mill Road,
under surveillance Friday night, Patterson said.
Police had search warrants for Dunlap’s house and
Patterson said, “We did find particular pieces of
evidence” at the residence.
Police believe the evidence links Dunlap to the
deaths Wednesday of Kayla Williams, 17, Kortney Frensley, 14, and
Ethan Frensley, 5. The children’s mother, Kristi Frensley, 36, was
seriously injured in the incident at their home. Police found her and
the children after responding to a fire at the house on Military Road.
Patterson would not say if police believe Dunlap
had a personal relationship with the Frensley family.
Patterson announced Dunlap’s arrest Saturday
afternoon to a crowd of several dozen local residents who stood
outside the Cadiz Police Department. Many of them were high school
classmates of the two girls.
Investigators developed the case against Dunlap on
Friday evening, and used covert surveillance and undercover officers
to monitor his Hopkinsville residence until this morning, said
Then, police raided the home with a special
response team, making the arrest, executing search warrants and an
Police also planned to add firearm enhancements to
the charges because Dunlap carried a weapon during the commission of
the offenses, said Patterson.
He said Dunlap had a “relationship” with the
satellite television provider DIRECTV, and acknowledged the
cooperation of their corporate office during the investigation.
Patterson would not comment on Dunlap’s interview
He said he did not want to compromise the ongoing
One of the warrants served allowed investigators to
search a DIRECTV van at Dunlap's home. Patterson said that it appeared
the suspect did not work out of the van when he allegedly commited the
crimes last Wednesday between 4 and 5 p.m.
Kristi Frensley, still recovering from the ordeal
at an undisclosed hospital, cooperated with investigators, according
to Patterson. (She was initially treated at Jennie Stuart Medical
“It took some time before she was able to speak to
us and assist us,” he said. “It took several hours until her condition
improved to the point where she could communicate.”
He described the improvement of Kristi Frensley as
Patterson said investigators were confident the
investigation was “on the right track,” with Dunlap as the lone
suspect. He cautioned residents to remain vigilant, and to keep doors
locked as a rule. He noted that attacks like this were never expected.
Police gave no motive for the triple homicide and
the assault on Frensley. Patterson declined to comment on any
relationship between the victims and Frensley.
Thanking other law enforcement agencies, Patterson
listed the Trigg County Sheriff's Department, Cadiz Police Department,
Kentucky Fire Marshal's Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms, Trigg County Coroner's Office and Fort Campbell military
police for their cooperation in the investigation.
He said the process of evidence collection and
processing continued, and said that Dunlap would be in court sometime
next the week.
Christian County Jailer Brad Boyd took charge of
Dunlap around 4:40 p.m. Saturday, when he was walked from the
Christian County Sheriff's Department to the jail on a foot bridge
over Little River. Two state troopers escorted him.
Boyd said that a prisoner of Dunlap’s nature
requires extra security measures. Facing capital murder charges, he
said, the suspect could be a danger to himself. Boyd planned to
confiscate his work clothing and shoes and issue him an orange jumper
and lace-less shoes.
“We have extra security, especially in the first
weeks of his incarceration. Without a doubt with a crime like this
when we have young kids and teens as victims, we will see some hard
feelings in the community and from other inmates,” Boyd said.