More than a month after two men were charged, Mayfield police are still searching for a woman in connection with a Mayfield drive-by shooting that killed a bystander.
Hayden Dunigan, 28, of Mayfield is charged with conspiracy to commit murder. She had dated Dimetri Ross, one of two men also charged in the case, Mayfield police Detective Nathan Young testified previously. Stanford Shelton is also charged in the case.
Mayfield police have said the shooting June 18 was the result of a dispute between Mayfield members of the Vice Lords over local gang leadership. They allege that Shelton fired a gun from a car into the duplex at 702 W. Lee St. in an attempt to shoot Jerrod Powell, who lived at the other end of the duplex at 704 W. Lee St.
A bullet pierced the door at 702, where SaVannah Hancock lived, hitting her in the neck as she was combing her stepdaughter’s hair, family members have said. Hancock later died from her injuries.
Young said Monday that Dunigan was in the car with Shelton and Ross on June 18.
Police describe Dunigan as a Caucasian woman, approximately 5-feet-8 and 150 pounds with green eyes and brown hair. They asked anyone with information as to her whereabouts to call the Mayfield Police Department at 270-247-1621.
Dunigan has family and friends in Paducah, Mayfield and northwest Tennessee, Young said. Police also believe she could be in the Hopkinsville area.
“The last information we received, that’s where she was,” he said.
He said he believes Dunigan may be frightened.
“I think she probably is scared, not only of them,” he said, referring to Shelton, Ross and their associates. “I think she probably is scared of us (police) as well, but I also think she just doesn’t want to get caught because she realizes how much time she could be facing.”
Under Kentucky law, complicity to a crime is treated the same as committing the crime and carries the same penalty. Both murder and complicity to murder both carry the penalties of 20 to 50 years or life in prison.
“Obviously it would be best for her to turn herself in,” Young said, saying that it provides her with more control over the circumstances of her arrest.
If not caught soon, he said, Mayfield police will contact the U.S. Marshals Service in a further attempt to find her.
“This isn’t going to go away,” Young said he wants Dunigan to know. “No matter how long you hide, you will get caught. It would be much easier to turn yourself in now rather than months go by, delaying the inevitable.”
Meanwhile Young said, police have had a noticeable decrease in reports of shots fired since Ross’ and Shelton’s arrests. They used to get such a call once a week if not more, Young said.
Also, he said, there have been no shootings or attempted shootings reported to Mayfield police.
Young said, “I think the people who are probably involved with all this are probably scared right now to be out causing a ruckus like they have been.”