ELKHART, Ind. (WANE) — Three men have been arrested and charged with various felonies for their respective roles in the torture and killing of 31-year-old Kimberly Dyer of Columbia City.
Authorities believe the events leading up to Dyer’s death took place on Old Orchard Lane on the east side of Elkhart between October 21 and 22, 2019.
The Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office said in a release Thursday that Donald Owen, Jr., age 20, and Mario Angulo, age 19, were both charged with Murder; they and a third Elkhart man, Matthew Murzynski, age 24, were charged with Confinement Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, a Level 3 Felony. Owen, Angulo and Murzynski were all charged with Robbery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, a Level 2 Felony, against Robert Porter, 32, of Sturgis, Mich., which is alleged to have taken place over the same time period as Dyer’s murder.
The release does not disclose any specifics surrounding Dyer’s death but reads, in part, “due to the egregious nature of the offenses, Prosecuting Attorney Vicki Elaine Becker is also seeking a sentencing enhancement of Life Without Parole against Owen and Angulo, including allegations that Ms. Dyer was intentionally murdered, and was burned, mutilated, or tortured while she was still alive; and, that the murder occurred while Owen and Angulo were committing criminal organization activity.”
Becker stated that, if successful, the sentence enhancement of Life Without Parole would exclude both Owen and Angulo from ever being released from prison. The Criminal Gang Enhancement allows for the sentence on the most serious offense for which a defendant is convicted to be doubled. The normal term of imprisonment for the crime of Murder is 45-65 years in prison. The normal term of imprisonment for a Level 2 felony is 10-30 years in prison, and for a Level 3 felony, the normal term of imprisonment is 3-16 years in prison.
If convicted, Owen and Angulo could be sentenced from a minimum period of 45 years in prison to a maximum of Life Without Parole, according to the release. If convicted of all allegations, Murzynski could be sentenced from a minimum of 20 years to a maximum of 92 years in prison.
According to the release, Angulo and Murzynski appeared in the Elkhart Circuit Court on Thursday morning for their initial hearings where they were advised of the charges, their rights, and deadlines for filing certain motions in their cases. Judge Michael A. Christofeno also set a preliminary trial date of May 4, 2020, for both defendants. A Pre-Trial Conference is scheduled for January 23, 2020, for both defendants.
Owen was arrested in Waco, Texas on Thursday of last week and remains in the custody of the Sheriff of McLennan County, Texas, awaiting extradition.