15-Year-Old Charged as Adult in May Homicide

By Trish Mehaffey, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A judge waived jurisdiction of a 15-year-old into adult court last week based on her alleged involvement in a homicide where the victim was robbed and stabbed nearly 30 times and to give her more rehabilitation time in the system if she is convicted of the crime.

Daimonay Richardson of Cedar Rapids made her initial appearance last Wednesday and was charged with first-degree murder in Linn County District Court. She is accused of stabbing to death Ronald Kunkle, 22, during a robbery at his residence, 5663 Kirkwood Blvd. SW #9, May 18, according to a criminal complaint.

Richardson, along with her boyfriend, D Anthony Curd, 19, of Cedar Rapids, who was previously charged with first-degree murder, admitted to police during questioning that they both stabbed Kunkle for the purpose of robbing him. They planned the attack after discovering Kunkle had $2,000. Kunkle's body wasn't found by police until June 10.

Sixth Judicial Associate District Judge Jane Spande set her bond at $100,000 cash or surety. Richardson remains in the Linn County Jail.

Associate District Judge Casey Jones' order laid out more facts of the homicide, which he called "disturbing."

"Despite the child's attempt to portray her part in the attack as somewhat inconsequential, the nature and circumstances surrounding the brutal murder belie that attempt," Jones said. "This was not a heat of the moment killing or crime of opportunity. This murder was planned in advance as part of a larger goal to relieve Mr. Kunkle of $2,000."

Richardson and Curd took steak knives to Kunkle's apartment and Curd got the victim to play beer pong as a distraction while Richardson came up from behind Kunkle and stabbed him in the neck, according to the order. Then, Curd joined in the attack and stabbed Kunkle nearly 30 times, holding the victim down as he stabbed him in the head, neck, torso and right thigh. Richardson said she stabbed him three times, once in the neck and twice in the body.

According to the order, after they stabbed Kunkle, they took his body into the bathroom, opened the window and turned on a fan. Richardson said she poured bleach over his body and in other areas of the apartment in an attempt to destroy evidence. Curd and Richardson then searched for the money but didn't find the $2,000. The couple did find his wallet and took his EBT card.

The couple then removed things from the scene that might have their fingerprints and took other incriminating evidence before leaving and locking the door, according to the order. Later, Richardson used Kunkle's EBT card and attempted to obtain a loan in his name.

Jones said Richardson started receiving services, including mentoring, aggression replacement training, individual counseling, out patient and inpatient psychiatric care and an alcohol and drug evalution, through juvenile court starting in January 2011. Those services ended last March when she was unsuccessfully discharged from individual therapy.

Richardson also has been committed for mental health issues and substance-related disorder, according to the order. According to juvenile court reports, Richardson had a chaotic and traumatic childhood. She was raped by her mother's boyfriend, her beloved grandmother died, she was abandoned by her mother and was homeless for a period of time. The living conditions and situations at both her mother's and father's houses were dangerous and unstable.

The teen began drinking at the age of 10 and using marijuana at age 13, according to the order. She then started a relationship with Curd and is pregnant with his child.

Jones said Richardson could receive limited services through juvenile court if she were adjudicated on this charge prior to her 17th birthday, which would likely happened in juvenile court, and the services would end when she turned 18. If she didn't finish her sentence until after turning 17, the services would end at 19- 1/2 years of age. There also isn't a long-term locked juvenile facility to place her.

In the adult system, Richardson could receive rehabilitation services such as probation, incarceration, parole, substance abuse treatment, GED and literacy programs, counseling and life skills training, Jones said. Because of the extent of Richardson's trauma as a child and other problems she will face as a young person, two or three years of rehabilitation services will not be enough to address all her issues.
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