The daughter of a Washington area man slain nearly two years ago says the public is not safe from two people convicted of her father’s death because they will not serve long enough.
Kathy Allen, the daughter of Kenneth Allen Jr., 70, noted that Timothy D. Wonish and Whitney D. Robins could to be released from prison in less than two years.
The third person convicted, Blake S. Schindler, 20, likely will be incarcerated much longer.
Schindler was found guilty Aug. 29 by a Franklin County jury. The state’s case was led by Franklin County Prosecutor Matt Becker in his first trial as prosecutor.
The jury returned four guilty verdicts on felony charges for Allen’s death. The jury also returned sentencing verdicts totaling 80 years if they are to run consecutively.
Co-defendants Wonish, 33, and Robins, 30, were sentenced in October 2018 to seven years in the Missouri Department of Corrections on the charge of involuntary manslaughter.
“I’m grateful to Becker and the jury. Wonish and Robins are as culpable as Schindler for the nightmarish, brutal death my dad suffered,” Allen told The Missourian.
While appreciative of the work of Becker, Kathy Allen continues to be critical of former Franklin County Prosecutor Robert Parks, who offered the plea deal to Wonish and Robins.
“But former elected PA Parks would not do his job, and so those two get out of the DOC (Missouri Department of Corrections) July 2, 2021,” she said. “The public is not safe from them, and the public has no effective recourse against awful PAs.
“I hope Franklin County will never be the same after this — I hope things get better,” she added.
Schindler was found guilty last Thursday on charges of second-degree murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and felonious restraint. The trial was held at the Franklin County Judicial Center in front of Michael S. Wright, 12th Circuit judge in Warren County, who will sentence Schindler in November.
Schindler, Wonish and Robins allegedly went to Ken Allen’s home Nov. 3, 2016, to steal from the man. But when Allen was found the next day, he was lying in a pool of blood with his hands bound behind him and feet wrapped up with a lamp cord.
The cause of death was asphyxiation due to neck compression, according to the medical examiner.
Kathy Allen has questioned the handling of all three cases by Parks since charges were filed. She has opposed plea deals for the suspects, seeking harsher penalties.
She filed a writ of mandamus petitioning the courts to remove Parks from the three criminal cases filed in the homicide of her father. The writ was filed by “Justice for Ken, et al” comprised of Kathy Allen and Vincent Bandermann.
In April, the writ was dismissed by Judge Darrell Missey, of Jefferson County.
The writ — a written command from a court to an individual or entity to perform a public duty — was filed in February 2018. The writ sought to have Parks disqualify himself from the cases.
The writ alleged a conflict of interest due to a lawsuit filed in August 2016 by Ken Allen, Jan Allen and Meramec Recovery Center Inc. That suit was dropped in December 2016 at the request of the plaintiffs. The suit did not name Parks, but it named former Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Bartlett.
In March, Kathy Allen filed a wrongful death suit naming Schindler, Wonish and Robins. A fourth “unnamed co-conspirator” also is listed in the suit if any future defendant is named in the murder case.
In addition to Kathy Allen, Janet Allen, Ken’s wife, is listed as a plaintiff. The two-count petition seeks punitive damages in excess of $25,000.
When asked, Kathy Allen offered no comments on the civil suit.
An announcement hearing for this lawsuit is set for Sept. 26 in front of Associate Circuit Judge Dave Hoven.
Wonish is serving his prison sentence at the Ozark Correctional Center in Fordland. Robins is incarcerated at the Chillicothe Correctional Center in Chillicothe.