Family of slain Indiana mother disapproves of proposed plea deal for alleged killer
The family of a young Indiana mother that disappeared in July 2011 has expressed disapproval of a proposed plea deal for Travis Funke, the boyfriend who allegedly confessed to killing their daughter 27-year-old Kelly Armstrong.
“I didn’t even know he filed it,” said David Armstrong, Kelly’s father. “Last I knew, this was set for a murder trial. It’s not set for a plea deal. We’re getting a plea agreement and I still don’t have my daughter.”
“The prosecution has never sat down with us to discuss any parts of the plea agreement.”
Kelly’s mother Teresa Edwards also expressed her frustration with the plea agreement. “The agreement was, in the beginning, Travis had to tell the truth, give us our daughter and that hasn’t happened,” Edwards said. “I haven’t seen the plea agreement. They’re not telling me nothing.”
Funke was charged with voluntary manslaughter in February 2012 after Kokomo police said Funke admitted to killing Armstrong on July 8, 2011. According to Howard County court documents Funke confessed to killing Armstrong with a hammer and disposing of her body. He told authorities he believes Armstrong hit him in the head with a hammer after an argument over drugs, and when he came to he found Armstrong’s dead body on the floor bludgeoned in the head. Police searched the landfill where Funke said he disposed of the remains, but did not find a body. Armstrong’s family reported her missing Sept. 26, 2011.
The plea agreement reportedly provides that Funke serve a term of 50 years, with 15 years suspended, and prosecutors would drop two lesser felony charges pending against him. In exchange, Funke would tell authorities the location of Kelly Armstrong’s body.
Armstrong’s parents don’t trust that Funke will be honest. “If Travis [Funke] was cooperating with the police and being honest I would have buried my daughter a long time ago,” David Armstrong said.
The Armstrong family said they would feel differently if Funke actually leads them to Kelly’s body.
“If she is in a landfill like he stated, then yes [he should get a plea deal],” said Kelly’s cousin Charity Grable. “If she is not in the landfill then absolutely not. He lied. He lied under oath.”
An initial plea agreement was withdrawn last July when Edwards and Armstrong rejected the agreement because of a provision recommending that Funke’s relatives be awarded custody of the couple’s 2-year-old son, Dillon.
Funke’s plea deal hearing is Tuesday morning.
Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial
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