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Arkansas man accused in 2005 beauty queen killing pleads not guilty to kidnapping

Gary Dunn (Photo courtesy: Arkansas Department of Correction)

A man accused of killing an Arkansas Tech University student in 2005 pleaded not guilty to kidnapping charges Monday in a separate case.

Gary Dunn, 39, did not appear in court but the public defender’s office entered the plea on his behalf in a Pope County courtroom.

Dunn was tried twice for the murder of beauty queen Nona Dirksmeyer. Both trials ended in hung juries. Dunn now faced charges of kidnapping, attempted kidnapping and indecent exposure.

Dunn is back in the custody of the Arkansas Department of Correction. His arrest in December violated the terms of his parole.

Dunn was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2017 on two counts of possession of firearms by certain persons. He was released on parole in August. But less than four months later, he’s back in custody.

A jury trial on his latest charges was set for April 16.

If convicted, Dunn will have to serve 70 percent of his sentence before he’s eligible for parole -- and that’s if he doesn’t get life in prison.

A spokesperson for the state parole agency told KATV that Dunn will be eligible for a parole hearing on his previous firearm possession charges in the next six months but it's highly unlikely that he'll be granted parole.


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