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Dishneau murder suspect appears in court

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The first of two suspects charged in the January murder of a Caulfield business owner was arraigned last week before Circuit Court Judge David Evans in West Plains.

Dennis Ray Woodward, 46, of Norwood appeared on the charges of stabbing and robbing Naturally Enchanted owner Joy Dishneau.

Woodward pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder, robbery, armed criminal action and tampering with a motor vehicle. He faces a maximum of life in prison or the death penalty if convicted.

Woodward is slated to appear March 15 for a trial date to be set.

Woodward's girlfriend, Elisabeth E. Gunter, 44, of Norwood faces the same four charges.

Her arraignment was set for a later date than Woodward's to allow her time to resume taking medication for mental health issues.

After their arrest a few days after Dishneau's murder on Jan. 2, Woodward and Gunter have accused each other of killing Dishneau, although both admitted going to Dishneau's Highway 160 home to rob her.

Among other valuables and $50 cash, the two admitted stealing Dishneau's Jeep Liberty SUV.

Gunter's arraignment is set for March 21.

Woodward and Gunter are in custody at the Howell County Jail on $2.5 million bond each.

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