A 16-year-old Cedar Rapids girl may not finish her education outside of a prison cell for her part in a robbery which ended in a man being stabbed 30 times last May.
Daimonay Richardson, who was 15 at the time of the homicide, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday in Linn County District Court. She was originally charged with first-degree murder. She faces up to 50 years in prison and if sentenced to 50 years, she would have to serve 35 years before being eligible for parole. She could receive less time because of her age.
Richardson, dressed in an orange hoodie, spoke in a quiet voice as she answered “Yes” in admitting she and her boyfriend, D Anthony Curd, 19, of Cedar Rapids, armed themselves with steak knives and planned to rob Ronald Kunkle, 22, at his residence, 5663 Kirkwood Blvd, SW #9, May 18, 2013. Richardson said they thought Kunkle had $2,000 and they planned to kill him to get the money.
According to a previous order by 6th Judicial Associate Judge Casey Jones, Curd distracted Kunkle by playing beer pong while Richardson came up behind Kunkle and stabbed him in the neck. Curd then joined in the attack and stabbed the man at least, 30 times in the head, neck, torso and right thigh.
Richardson and Curd also took Kunkle’s body into the bathroom, opened the window and turned on a fan, according to Jones’ order. Richardson said she poured bleach over his body and in other areas of the apartment in an attempt to destroy evidence. Kunkle’s body wasn’t found by police until June 10, 2013.
Richardson admitted in the pleading that Curd searched for the $2,000 after the killing. She also admitted that she intended to harm Kunkle that day.
Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden said as part of the plea agreement Richardson must give “truthful” testimony against Curd, who’s charged with first-degree murder, at his trial.
“This plea will secure a conviction in a serious offense and help secure a conviction against Curd,” Vander Sanden said.
Vander Sanden will argue for up to 50 years, which would make her serve 35 years before being eligible for parole. The court could consider a deferred sentence or probation, because Richardson is under 18.
Dennis Cohen, Richardson’s attorney, said he will ask for a more lenient sentence.
Jones’ previous order in October sheds some insight into Richardson’s childhood. She had a history in juvenile court, including theft and trespassing charges in 2010, but she also has received aggression replacement training, individual counseling, out patient and inpatient psychiatric care and an alcohol and drug evaluation, starting in 2011. Those services ended last March when she was unsuccessfully discharged from individual therapy.
She has been committed for mental health issues and substance-related disorder, according to the order. Richardson had a “chaotic and traumatic” childhood. She was raped by her mother’s boyfriend, her grandmother died, she was abandoned by her mother and was homeless for a period of time. Her living conditions at both her mother’s and father’s houses were “dangerous and unstable.”
Jones said in the order that she started a relationship with Curd a few years ago and was pregnant with his child at the time of this order.
Jones explained in the order he was waiving the case to adult court based on her history and need for services in the future, which the juvenile system couldn’t provide if she was convicted.
Richardson’s sentencing will be set after Curd’s trial. Curd’s trial is set for March 3, but Vander Sanden told the court it would be continued.