Dunnagan sentenced to life in prison for murder of Gary Kergan in 1984

Dunnagan sentenced to life in prison for murder of Gary Kergan in 1984 - 6 p.m.
Kergan Family (Source: Kiran Chawla/WAFB
Kergan Family (Source: Kiran Chawla/WAFB
Gary Kergan
Gary Kergan

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - More than 30 years after a man was murdered, his family finally received justice and the man responsible was sent to prison for the rest of his life.

Judge Mike Erwin sentenced Ronald Dunnagan, 66, to life in prison without the possibility of parole or probation for the murder of Gary Kergan. The defense said it will appeal the sentence. Last month, Dunnagan was convicted of second-degree murder in Kergan's death.

"I started to put that away because it's over and I just don't need it anymore," said Ted Kergan.

For 31 years, Ted Kergan has held on to any and every article concerning his brother Gary Kergan's killing in 1984. Now, he said he can finally store the boxes away since the man responsible for Gary's death has finally been sentenced.

"I think I have relief. It is an incredible weight that's been lifted off of me," said Ted Kergan.

Dunnagun, who was in a wheelchair, had nothing to say even after Ted gave a victim's impact statement.

"I felt that I had said what I needed to say and I was really grateful to look Ronald Dunnagun in the eye and have him looking at me, because he was, and tell him exactly what I thought," said Ted Kergan.

Ted said he has no remains for his brother so they have not been able to have a funeral or memorial, but he said it was a relief to be able to say what was on his heart Wednesday.

"My brother and I look awfully alike and I said 'It's got to be disconcerting for you seeing me here sitting and talking to you. It's just as if my brother was sitting here and talking to you," said Ted Kergan about the end of his statement in court. "I said 'And if he was sitting here and talking to you, what he would say to you is after all these years, I got you, you son of a bitch.'"

Prosecutors said Dunnagan worked with a woman to lure Kergan back to a hotel room in 1984. They added Dunnagan suffocated him and then used trash bags to dump his dismembered body in several different dumpsters.

The Baton Rouge Police Department reported Kergan went missing on Nov. 29, 1984. His body was never found. Investigators added he was last seen leaving a night club on Plank Road with Leila Mulla, who was an exotic dancer at the time.

Mulla was the prosecution's star witness. She was the last of 11 to take the stand in the trial. Mulla is now 50 years old, but she was only 19 when Gary Kergan was killed.

The former stripper and prostitute pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges last year and is serving a 30-year sentence.

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