EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — A southwestern Indiana woman, her daughter and husband were sentenced Monday for their roles in the death of a disabled Virginia woman whose body was found buried beneath a garage.
A Vanderburgh Circuit Court judge sentenced Joan Paul, 56, and Angela Paul, 32, both to 30-year prison terms after they pleaded guilty in July to neglect of a dependent causing death in the death of Evonne Pullen, 29, of Winchester, Virginia.
Joan Paul’s husband, Gary Wayne Anderson, 57, was sentenced to six years after he pleaded guilty in early August to assisting a criminal, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.
In return for their guilty pleas, prosecutors agreed to dismiss murder and other charges that all three had faced.
The trio was arrested in November 2019, after Anderson alerted police to the location of Pullen’s body when he was arrested for allegedly attacking John Paul, his then-girlfriend, at a motel.
Police found Pullen’s remains wrapped in a tarp under the garage floor of a home in Evansville. An autopsy determined that she died of blunt force trauma.
Pullen was reported missing by a relative in Virginia in July 2018 and was last seen that September. She had moved to Evansville with Angela Paul after the two reportedly met at a shelter in Virginia.
Pullen's mother, JoAnn Thiel, testified Monday that it wasn’t too unusual to go for weeks or months without hearing from her daughter, but she said something didn’t seem right when her daughter didn’t call her in September 2018 around the time of Evonne’s birthday.
“This time was different. I just knew,” she told the court.
Thiel also said that the last time she spoke to her daughter was shortly before she moved to southwestern Indiana.
“She told me, ‘Mom, I finally found the best friend I have searched for my whole life,’” she said.