Juries Return Guilty Verdicts Against Couple for Murdering Government Witness
OCALA, Fla. – Following eight days of trial in federal court, David Chappell Fey (57, Belleview) and Shari Lynn Gunter (58, Ocklawaha) have each been found guilty as charged for the murder of a government witness. The trial required special accommodations: a separate jury heard evidence for each defendant. In the end, each jury returned a guilty verdict on all four counts charged -- distribution of methamphetamine, conspiracy to murder a government witness, murder of a government witness, and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl causing death.
Prior to the start of trial, Fey pleaded guilty to an additional seven counts of distributing methamphetamine.
Fey and Gunter each face a mandatory penalty of life in federal prison. Sentencing is scheduled for April 22, 2022.
According to the evidence produced at trial, Fey and Gunter lived together in Summerfield, Florida, where they routinely distributed methamphetamine and other drugs. The 31-year-old victim, who was the mother of three children, was one of their customers. She had agreed to cooperate with law enforcement and conducted a controlled buy of $40 worth of methamphetamine on January 19, 2016. After discovering that the victim was helping authorities, Fey and Gunter conspired to murder her to prevent her from acting as a witness against them.
Specifically, on April 5, 2016, Fey and Gunter made up a “hot shot”—a syringe containing a lethal amount of fentanyl and methamphetamine and provided it to the victim. When the victim injected herself, she immediately collapsed. Gunter then dragged the victim outside, kicked her in the head, and placed her in the passenger seat of her car. As the victim sat helpless in the vehicle, Fey and Gunter administered a second, fatal dose of fentanyl and methamphetamine, causing her death. They then drove her to a cemetery in Oxford, Florida, and staged the scene to look like an accidental overdose.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Gainesville Resident Office with support from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.
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