Three men have been arrested for taking part in the torture and murder of a Columbia City woman. 31-year-old Kimberly Dyer was burned, mutilated and tortured as she struggleed to survive at a home on Old Orchard Lane in Elkhart.
On Thursday, Dec. 26, the Elkhart County Prosecuting Attorney announced the arrested of Donald Ray Owen, Jr., Mario Angulo, Jr., and Matthew Murzynski. Owen and Angulo are charged with Murder and Confinement Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury. Murzynski is charged as a Co-Defendant for Confinement.
All three are also charged with Robbery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury and Confinement for their actions against a 32-year-old man from Sturgis.
The prosecutor is seeking a life without parole sentence for Owen and Angulo.
The Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office released the following information:
Three Elkhart men have been arrested for their respective roles in the torture and murder of Kimberly Dyer, age 31 of Columbia City, Indiana, alleged to have occurred on or about October 21 and 22, 2019, at a residence on Old Orchard Lane on the east side of Elkhart, Indiana. Donald Ray Owen, Jr., age 20, and Mario M. Angulo, Jr., age 19, are both charged with Murder and Confinement Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, a Level 3 felony, for their actions against Ms. Dyer. In addition, Owen, Angulo, and a third Defendant, Matthew Murzynski, age 24, are all charged with Robbery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, a Level 2 felony, and Confinement Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, for their actions against one Robert Porter, age 32 of Sturgis, Michigan, alleged to have occurred over the same time period as Ms. Dyer’s torture and murder. Murzynski is also charged as a Co-Defendant of Owen and Angulo for Confinement Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, a Level 3 felony, for his actions against Ms. Dyer.
Pursuant to Indiana law, and 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 is seeking an enhanced sentence against Murzynski as well, alleging the Criminal Gang Enhancement applies due to his criminal organization activity with Owen and Angulo during the commission of the crimes.
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. Credit time could be granted by the Indiana Department of Correction in the maximum amount of one day of credit for every three days of time actually served if a defendant is sentenced to a specific term of years. Accordingly, if convicted, Owen and Angulo could be sentenced from a minimum period of 45 years in prison, to a maximum of Life Without Parole. If convicted of all allegations, Murzynski could be sentenced from a minimum of twenty years, to a maximum of 92 years in prison.
Becker originally requested that the filing of all charging documents be sealed by the Court in an attempt to apprehend each of the defendants timely and without harm, and to protect witnesses and investigative information while the defendants were still at large. Upon notification that each of the defendants were in custody on Friday last week, Ms. Becker requested the charging documents be released from the seal, except for the Affidavit of Probable Cause, which was granted by the Court.
Mario Angulo and Matthew 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. Attorney Status conferences are scheduled for next Thursday in Circuit Court, and a Pre-Trial Conference is scheduled for January 23, 2020, for both defendants. Donald Owen, Jr., was arrested in Waco, Texas on Thursday of last week and remains in the custody of the Sheriff of McLennan County, Texas, awaiting extradition.
The Office of the Prosecuting Attorney and the Elkhart County Homicide Unit would like to express gratitude for the hard work and dedication of the Cass County Michigan Sheriff’s Office, the St. Joseph County Michigan Sheriff’s Office, the Sturgis Michigan Police Department, the LaGrange County Indiana Sheriff’s Office, the Elkhart Police Department, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office, the Elkhart County ICE Unit and the United States Marshals Service for their assistance during the investigation of this case and the apprehension of all three defendants in an efficient and effective manner.