Update: Murder victim laid to rest with full honors

Update: Sunday, Jan. 9 at 10:00 p.m.

Friends, family, and colleagues showed up to pay their last respects to a retired Jefferson City police officer.

In Dexter, Missouri, Plunkett received full law enforcement honors at his funeral.

Plunkett's wife, Sandra Plunkett, 37, was in Callaway county court Friday facing a first degree murder charge.

Police say she confessed to shooting her husband while he lay in a hospital bed in their home.

Update: Friday, Jan. 7 at 6:15 p.m. The woman accused of killing her husband on New Year's Day made her first court appearance Friday morning. Sandra Plunkett, 37, appeared in a Callaway County court for an arraignment. Plunkett stood next to a public defender as the judge read the first degree murder charge against her. High school friend, Tina Brooks said the woman charged with murder isn't the girl she once knew. "She was just one of those people that was always nice to everybody, always smiling, Brooks said. People just loved her, that's what I remember." Sandra Jannick, now known as Sandra Plunkett grew up in the small mid Missouri town, Belle. Brooks attended high school with Sandra and said she was shocked to hear what Plunkett is accused of. "Disbelief, Brooks said. It doesn't add up. What she's being accused of now doesn't relate to the Sandra that I knew." Brooks said while she had lost touch with Plunkett over the years, she never thought Sandra could be capable of what she's accused of. "I guess it hasn't sunk in, Brooks said. I think if anything, it makes me want to be in contact with her and want to go up and see her and say 'hey look, I'm still here.' My heart goes out to the the family of her husband and I can't imagine what they're going through right now, but I just still can't picture Sandra doing it." Brooks believes there has to be more to the story. "I just know that there are pieces missing because she wouldn't just randomly do this, Brooks said. Something extremely traumatic had to have happened and I don't understand what it could have been." Sandra Plunkett is at the Callaway County Jail without bond. Plunkett will appear in court again February 18. She is charged with killing her husband, Paul Plunkett. If convicted, she could face the death penalty or life in prison with out parole. Services will be held Saturday afternoon for Paul Plunkett at the Houser-Millard Funeral Home and Sunday he will be laid to rest with full police honors in Dexter, Missouri. Update: Friday, Jan. 7 at 11:05 a.m. The woman accused of shooting her husband to death on New Year's day made her first court appearance today.Sandra Plunkett, 37, appeared in a Callaway County Court for an arraignment.Plunkett stood next to a public defender as the judge read the first degree murder charge against her.Callaway County Prosecutor Chris Wilson also appeared in court. Afterwards Wilson talked with KRCG and said he was aware of the incident in which Plunket allegedly grabbed at an officer's gun. Wilson wouldn't say if she will face additional charges for the incident. Update: Thursday, Jan. 6 at 7:35 p.m. The Holts Summit Police Department released new details involving the New Years Day murder. The police department spokesman said it was obvious that Sandra Plunkett realized she could spend the rest of her life behind bars after she admitted to shooting her husband. In fact, Plunkett made a desperate move as she was being moved out of her holding cell on her way to jail. "She went for an officer's gun, Haycook said. It happened just in a split second, one minute she's sitting there, just calm as ever, quiet, not a problem and next thing you know, there's two officers battling for the officer's gun on the floor. At no time did she ever gain control of the officers gun, as you know, the guns are secured in holsters." Haycook reiterated in an email to KRCG that the gun never left the officer's holster: "Mrs Plunkett never gained control of a gun. As she was being moved out of the holding cell, Mrs Plunkett lunged at an officer and went for his weapon " which was secured in the officer TMs holster. That officer and another officer then had a brief struggle with Mrs Plunkett on the floor."

Haycook said Plunkett admitted to the murder after police confronted her with the results of her lie detector test. He said nothing leads the department to believe the murder had been a long time coming. "There is no evidence at this point to think it was something she researched, put a lot of effort into to research it, Haycook said. Ya know, was it just a snap decision? I don't know, but it doesn't appear to be anything she put months and months of research into." Another detail the police are unsure of is why Sandra Plunkett murdered her husband, Paul, at their home while he laid in his hospital bed. "At this point no, we still don't have a clear motive as to why she did this, Haycook said. You have a history, as you've discovered of problems with drugs, discovered the financial issues, but we don't see a clear motive in the murder." Haycook said there is no life insurance policies the department is aware of for Paul Plunkett except a small one from a police retirement program. Plunkett remains jailed in Callaway County without a bond. She will make an appearance Friday morning in court for her arraignment. Update: Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 8:25 p.m.

Police are forming a motive for the killing of Paul Plunkett, but won't talk about it further. His wife, 37-year old Sandra Plunkett is charged with first degree murder. The Holts Summit Police Chief Kyle McIntyre said Plunkett confessed to shooting her husband in the back of the head with a rifle during a polygraph test. He was lying in a hospital bed at the time, in the couple's bedroom. McIntyre said Paul Plunkett was taking pain medications. The couple filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against three University Hospital surgeons in December 2010 over what they claimed was a botched surgery. In June of 2009, Paul had what's called a colectomy to treat colon damage from diverticulitis but was left with an infection and serious stomach wound that wouldn't heal. The total damages the couple was seeking from the lawsuit is unknown, but Plunkett who was a nurse claimed she suffered emotionally and financially from her husband's condition. Sandra may have been nursing her husband at home, but she would never work as a nurse anywhere else again. she was named in a wrongful death lawsuit in 2006, then a 2007 complaint prompted a lengthy investigation by the State Board of Nursing. Sandra lost her state nursing license just last month. Update: Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 10:45 p.m.

A search of online records reveals more about Sandra Plunkett's past. She previously worked as a nurse at St. Mary's Health Center and was named in a wrongful death lawsuit in 2006. She was later dropped from the suit and St. Mary's settled the case.

In September 2007 a co-worker complained about Plunkett's work on the night shift at St. Mary's. That complaint went to the State Board of Nursing. According to state documents, Plunkett never formally responded to the complaints against her, Including mishandling drugs and sleeping on the job. In September 2010 she was disciplined for "gross negligence."

We don't know when Plunkett left St. Mary's, but she put her nursing license on inactive status in 2009. She also worked with her husband's pest control business.

Police wouldn't offer a motive for the shooting, but court records also reveal both Paul and Sandra filed a medical malpractice lawsuit in December 2010 against three surgeons from University Hospital. No word on what damages they were seeking.

Update: Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 7:50 p.m. KRCG obtained court documents from Callaway County that said Sandra Plunkett admitted that she shot her husband, Paul Plunkett, in the head with a .22 caliber rifle.

She then lead investigators to the .22 caliber rifle. Investigators said Sandra is being very cooperative.

Update: Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 7:20 p.m. The wife of a slain former police officer has been arrested for murder. Holts Summit Police arrested Sandra Plunkett, 37, Tuesday afternoon. She is being held in the Callaway County Jail without bond.Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Wilson formally charged Plunkett with first degree murder just before 7 p.m. Tuesday in the shooting death of her husband Paul. Paul Plunkett, 52, was shot in the head at the couple's home in Holts Summit in the early afternoon hours on New Year's Day.Sandra Plunkett initially told police she was arriving home Saturday when she saw an armed man dressed in camouflage, standing in the road near their home.She claimed the man pointed the gun at her before fleeing. Once she went inside, she discovered her husband shot in the back of the head.He died while being life-flighted to the hospital.Police now say the story of the man in camouflage was made-up. "Her initial statement was to, ya know, cover her tracks. And we have no reason to believe that there's a need for anybody in Holts Summit or in the area to be concerned about folks in camouflage, carrying a gun, Holts Summit P.D. Marc Haycook said. We don't think there was anybody, but again, if they do see somebody there's no reason to be concern"Haycook said Sandra has been cooperative in the investigation.Haycook said in these types of investigations it is typical for police to look to the spouse and try to rule them out as a suspect. In this case, Haycook said leads pointed to her as the suspect. Paul Plunkett was a retired Jefferson City police officer who had worked with the force for nearly two decades. A police department spokesman who said the entire department is saddened by the murder of their own."Nobody had a bad thing to say about Paul. He was very well liked, not only by his peers here, Jefferson City Police Dept. Cpt. Doug Shoemaker said. He had a big group of friends outside of the department and even the people he dealt with. Situations that normally maybe negative police public situations, a traffic stop, an arrest, or something. Even those folks generally had high things to say about Paul."

More recently, Paul Plunkett operated a pest control business out of his home.

On the day he was killed, he was at home recovering from a recent surgery.

Update: Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 4:30 p.m.: The wife of a murdered former Jefferson City police officer has been arrested.Sandra Plunkett is currently in the Callaway County Jail.Holts Summit Police have confirmed that a person has been arrested in connection with the murder of Paul Plunkett but would not say who.The Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney's office says that Sandra has not been charged yet.

Update: Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 1:30 p.m.: Holts Summit police have called an afternoon press conference to update the status of the Paul Plunkett murder investigation.No arrests have been made but police do have new details to release about the case, according to Officer Marc Haycook.Haycook said investigators are finishing up interviews and have received many good tips from the public.The press conference is planned around 4 p.m. at City Hall in Holts Summit. When asked about the reason for the press conference, Haycook wouldn't say if the department had a major break in the case but did say that they have good information to release to the public.

52-year-old Paul Plunkett was shot Saturday afternoon inside his home. His wife, Sandra, told police she saw a man dressed in camouflage standing in the road near their home. She says he pointed the gun at her before fleeing.

Investigators believe Plunkett was targeted and the general public is not in danger.

Plunkett was operating a pest control business out of his home but was at home recovering from a recent surgery.

Update: Monday, Jan. 3 at 11:50 a.m.:

The Jefferson City Police Department released a statement on retired officer, Paul Plunkett. Plunkett worked with the department for 19 years.

"On January 1, 2011, our agency was informed of the tragic death of retired Jefferson City Police Officer Paul Plunkett. While we will not discuss the circumstances of that case, we are providing any information requested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol TMs Division of Drug and Crime Control and the Holts Summit Police Department.

Officer Plunkett was employed by our agency from 1989 to 2008, when he retired in good standing at the rank of Police Officer III. He served in many capacities during his time with us, including membership on the Department SWAT Team and as a Field Training Officer. One of the accomplishments he was most proud of was his work with the Community Policing Team. He worked with local neighborhoods to solve quality of life challenges for those residents by reducing crime and improving their living conditions. Through this positive police-community partnership, Paul always tried to make a positive difference of those most in need.

Paul was a mentor to many officers, and a friend to everyone. He was known as a kind and helpful person who was always fair in his treatment of others. His ability to establish rapport with people from all walks of life was unparalleled, and he was most respected because of his genuine concern for the well-being of those he met. Paul, in many respects, was the ideal police officer, mentor, and friend."

Updated Jan. 2 at 9:20 p.m.

Police in Holts Summit spoke out Sunday about the murder of a retired Jefferson City Police officer.

As of Sunday investigators hadn TMt even called in the Major Case Squad because they have so few leads in the murder of 52-year-old Paul Plunkett.

His wife found him shot in the head around 1p.m. Saturday afternoon at their Holts Summit home in the 200 block of Major Terrace.

"We don't have things for the detectives to do, Holts Summit Police Chief Kyle McIntyre said. We're getting two or three leads at a time and with the amount of detectives we have working on it, we have plenty of people to cover those leads."

Police Chief Kyle McIntyre said they have no suspects but they have collected what might be clues from the home.

We took a lot of items that we believe could be evidence but they'll have to be sent to the lab and analyzed before we know for sure," McIntyre said.

Neighbors on Major Terrace said police were at the Plunketts' home until close to midnight Saturday.

They said towards the end of the night authorities towed one of the Plunketts' vehicles from the garage.

Chief McIntyre says seizing the car is just common practice, and says he doesn't think the murder was random.

"I don't think there's any reason to panic, McIntyre said. I don't think that there's just somebody going around shooting people."

Saturday KRCG told you about a report of a man walking down the street in camouflage carrying a gun.

Police said Plunkett's wife made that call just before she found her husband.

Investigators still haven't found a man matching her description.Updated Jan. 2 at 3:30 p.m.

KRCG just spoke with the Holts Summit Police Department, Chief McIntyre said they are persuing any and all leads right now.

They released the victim's name, Paul Plunkett, a 52-year old retired Jefferson City Police officer.

Right now no one is in custody and the police have not named any persons of interest.

The crime scene tape has been removed from the perimeter of the Plunkett's home, the murder scene.

KRCG will keep you updated as more information comes in.

Updated Jan. 2 at 12:55 p.m.

Holts Summit police said 52 year old Paul Plunkett was murdered Saturday in his home.

Police said they were originally called around 1p.m. Saturday afternoon to the 200 block of Major Terrace because a man dressed in camouflage was in the street carrying a gun.

Shortly after that Plunkett's wife walked into their home and found her husband shot.

Police told KRCG the victim had a faint pulse when he was found and he was flown to a local hospital but died a short time later.

The victim had been shot in the back of the head.

The investigation is being worked by the Holts Summit Police Department and the Missouri Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control.

Original Story:

Holts Summit police are searching for a murderer.

Police said they were originally called around 1p.m. Saturday afternoon to the 200 block of Major Terrace because a man dressed in camouflage was in the street carrying a gun.

Shortly after that a woman walked into her home and found her husband shot.

Police told KRCG the victim had a faint pulse when he was found and he was flown to a local hospital but died a short time later.

The victim had been shot in the back of the head.

No names or suspect descriptions have been released.