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Both sides rest in Dunnagan murder trial

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BATON ROUGE - Defense attorneys rested immediately after prosecutors ended their case against Ronald Dunnagan in Baton Rouge, who is accused of killing Gary Kergan in 1984.

This morning 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.

Once Kergan stopped moving Mulla said Dunnagan took him into the bathroom and shut the door. She said she went in once and saw blood all over the wall, and Dunnagan told her to get out. When he was done, Mulla said Dunnagan came out of the bathroom with plastic bags and tossed them, the wine, and Kergan's clothes into the trunk of the murdered man's car.

Police said they later found Kergan's car with the bloodied trunk, but never found his body. They believe Dunnagan chopped the body up to dispose of it, and Mulla said they made several stops after leaving the apartment where Kergan was killed to drop the plastic bags in several different dumpsters.

After both sides' attorneys rested, court was dismissed for the day. It will resume Friday morning.


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