~Dustin Skaggs~

A jury in Texas County on March 30th, 2010 convicted a man accused in Douglas County of killing his cousin. 32-year-old Benny Volner has been found guilty of first-degree murder for the Feb. 10, 2008 slaying of Dustin Skaggs, of Ava.

The short trial began Monday March 29th, 2010 with jury selection. Volner was also found guilty of robbery and armed criminal action says the Douglas County Prosecutor’s Office. Volner is scheduled for sentencing May 19th, 2010.

 ~Benny Volner~

The victim’s body was found in the trunk of his car in Laclede County,    submerged in a water-filled quarry near the small town of Phillipsburg. Three other people were charged in the crime. Prosecutors say Dennis Volner, of Hartville believed his estranged wife, Julia Monnahan and Skaggs, who was Benny Volner’s second cousin were having an affair. Benny Volner, along with Dennis Volner, and Elvis Volner hid outside the home where Dustin Skaggs lived and waited for him to leave work about 3:00 a.m. in the morning the day he was killed.

Julia Monnahan flagged Skaggs down with a flashlight, pretending she had car trouble. That’s when Skaggs, who was 20-years-old was ambushed by the members of his family.

Elvis Volner is said to have struck Skaggs over the head some 20 times with a metal pipe. The young man’s body was then stuffed into the trunk of his car which was driven to Laclede County, according to what Monnahan told invesigators.

Dennis Volner was sentenced to 15 years in prison back on Nov. 5,2009 after pleading guilty to second-degree murder. The case against Elvis Volner, of Mountain Grove is still pending, and Julia Monnahan, of Hartville is to appear in a Douglas County courtroom next week on Apr. 6th, 2010.

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