OZARK COUNTY, Mo. — Brian Dunaway, 42, of Theodosia, was sentenced to five years of probation for shooting and killing a man in June.
Dunaway was sentenced to 10 years in jail, but this was suspended. Instead, he was given five years of unsupervised probation for a felony count of voluntary manslaughter.
On June 13, Ozark County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Dunaway after responding to a call about gunshots. They found a man with gunshot wounds and attempted to help him. He died on the scene. The deputies found Dunaway on the property. He told the deputies that he shot the victim. The deputies found methamphetamine in his possession and arrested him.
Dunaway told police that he had used meth before he shot the victim. He said he shot the victim because he saw that he was fighting a woman, the victim’s girlfriend. After Dunaway asked the victim to stop, the victim charged at him. After shooting the victim, Dunaway waited for law enforcement to arrive.
He was originally charged with second-degree murder, unlawful use of a weapon, and possession of a controlled substance.
However, in a Nov. 23 plea deal, Dunaway only pleaded guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter. According to court documents:
“The state clarifies that the reason for amending the information was that the facts show that the defendants acted in self-defense, as a domestic assault occurred between victim and his girlfriend.”
Dunaway lived with the victim and his girlfriend and asked the victim to stop an assault after witnessing a physical confrontation between the two. When the victim confronted Dunaway, he pulled a handgun out and shot him.
“However,” the court documents read, “the defendant’s possession of methamphetamine simultaneously with a firearm is a separate felony, which constitutes felony murder.”
Because of these details, Dunaway would not have been able to claim self-defense during a trial, though he was defending himself and others, according to the court document.
“The victim’s parents agree with the outcome of the case,” the court document reads.