Dunnagan found guilty of 2nd degree murder
BATON ROUGE – A jury found Ronald Dunnagan guilty of killing Gary Kergan in 1984.
The jurors deliberated just 45 minutes after they were charged at 11 a.m. before reaching their decision. The judge told them to consider 2nd-degree murder, manslaughter, or negligent homicide as possibilities.
After the verdict was announced Kergan's brother released a statement on behalf of his family thanking the district attorney's office for their work in the case, along with Baton Rouge Police and Louisiana State Police.
"Our family never gave up on Gary," Ted Kergan said. "We never gave up on working toward the day that justice would finally come for the violent and depraved murderers who took his life. My family rests easier knowing that the ones who killed Gary are finally paying for their crimes."
Both the prosecutors and the defense attorneys rested their cases Thursday. Jurors heard from Leila Mulla, who prosecutors said confessed to her role in Kergan's murder and got a 30-year prison sentence in exchange for her testimony against Dunnagan.
Mulla said in 1984 she was working for Dunnagan as a stripper and prostitute, and that Kergan was an occasional client. She said Dunnagan wanted to kill Kergan, who owned several Sonic restaurants.
Mulla testified that the night of the murder Dunnagan hid in a closet while she had sex with Kergan, who drank wine Mulla said Dunnagan had poisoned. She said Kergan started choking and asked for help, which is when Dunnagan got out of the closet and shoved a pillow over Kergan's face to suffocate him.