COLUMBUS (AP) — A Kansas woman has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a man whose burned body was found after he reported the woman was threatening to kidnap her children from foster care.
Crystal Galloway, 38, of Scammon, must serve a minimum of 50 years before becoming eligible for parole. The sentence was imposed Monday for first-degree murder in the May 2015 stabbing death of Robin Fought, The Joplin Globe reports. Galloway, who didn’t speak at the hearing, also was sentenced to 13 months for arson and nine months for interference with law enforcement.
Fought’s body was discovered lying face down in a field near his burning pickup truck. Evidence technicians testified that Galloway’s DNA was found on the handle of a knife used to stab him. A picture also was found on Galloway’s cellphone of Fought slumped against the door of his truck with blood on his clothes, according to testimony at her September 2016 trial.
Just days earlier, Fought had left a phone message with a caseworker warning that Galloway was planning to flee the state with her children, according to evidence at her trial. Five of Galloway’s children had been taken into state custody, and she was only allowed supervised visits. Fought also had reported that Galloway was having prohibited contact with a daughter at her home on weekends. The daughter was a runaway at the time of her mother’s trial.
On the night of the killing, Galloway and her then-18-year-old boyfriend, Dakota Cunningham, showed up at the Welch, Oklahoma, home of an acquaintance and shared that Galloway was pregnant. Cunningham had been taken into state custody the month before Galloway’s children were removed from her home. The acquaintance testified that she gave the pair food and loaned them a tent, but that she was alarmed the next day when they told her that Cunningham had stabbed Fought, and that he had done so in self-defense. She said the couple told her that Fought had pulled a knife when Cunningham tried to get paid for helping to collect junk.
Galloway, who gave birth in December 2015, testified that she had tried to take the knife away from Cunningham. Asked how a photo of the bloodied victim got on her phone, she said that Cunningham had access to the phone.
Cunningham has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 9.