October 15, 2008
Roaring Springs, Kentucky
Kevin Dunlap rapes Kristy Frensley, kills her three children, attempts to kill Kristy, and sets the family’s house on fire
Dunlap visited the Frensleys’ home, which was listed as being for sale, under the pretense of wanting a tour. Kristy agreed. As she showed Dunlap around the home, Dunlap remained silent until the pair came to a bathroom. There, Dunlap grabbed Kristy by the neck and pressed a gun to her temple. He then bound Kristy’s ankles and wrists with plastic cable ties.
When Kristy’s children came home from school, she pleaded for Dunlap to focus his intentions on her and leave her children — Ethan Frensley, 5, Kortney McBurney-Frensley, 14, and Kayla Williams, 17 — alone. Dunlap simply told Kristy to “shut up.” He bound the children with cable ties as well, and brought them into a different room one at a time. Dunlap raped Kristy then tried to destroy evidence by washing her in a bathtub.
Dunlap tried to kill Kristy by choking her, breaking her neck, and smothering her, but when each method failed he stabbed her repeatedly. Kristy was stabbed in the neck four times, twice in the lower back, and once in the left ear. She feigned death and Dunlap left the scene after setting the house on fire.
As Kristy made her way through the burning home, she saw her son’s body on a pile of pillows. While she wanted to carry him out of the burning building, her hands and feet were still bound. Kristy rolled her way out of the home and told those who gathered in front of the house to save her children. The bodies of Ethan and Kortney were recovered after the flames were extinguished, and the autopsies of all three children showed they were dead before the fire; no carbon monoxide was found in their systems. Ethan had been stabbed 11 times with one wound penetrating his heart, Kortney was stabbed four times, and Kayla had a deep cut to her throat as well as a stab wound to her neck.
Kristy’s statement helped lead to Dunlap’s attest. He pleaded guilty to the murders of the three children and the attempted murder of Kristy as well as various other charges including rape and arson, and was sentenced to death. His lawyers attempted an appeal on the basis Dunlap has no frontal lobe and therefore could not be aware of the ramifications of pleading guilty. The appeal attempt failed. Dunlap currently awaits his execution on death row.
Kentucky Online Offender Lookup. http://kool.corrections.ky.gov/KOOL/Details/294365
Barrouquere, Brett. “Defense: Death Row inmate has no frontal lobe.” Lexington Herald Leader. August 2, 2012. Accessed: October 15, 2019. https://amp.kentucky.com/news/local/crime/article44370489.html
Reed, Alan. “Mother of three testifies about attack on family.” The Paducah Sun. February 20, 2010
Hunter, Julia and Hoffman, Kevin. “A mother’s testimony.” Kentucky New Era. February 20, 2010. Accessed: October 15, 2019. https://www.kentuckynewera.com/web/news/article_ad275bf4-70b3-56e2-b704-10a4ee7c9256.html
Brown, Jennifer P. and Hunter, Julia. “Dunlap court hearing today.” Kentucky New Era. October 21, 2008. Accessed: October 13, 2019. https://www.kentuckynewera.com/web/news/article_cfd903b6-8ea8-53b4-9511-ed1f8dd5f3dd.html