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Ex-soldier charged in slayings near Campbell

Oct. 21, 2008 - 08:31PM   |   Last Updated: Oct. 21, 2008 - 08:31PM  |  
Kevin Wayne Dunlap, 36, right, is seen during his arraignment on Oct. 2 in Hopkinsville, Ky., with his lawyer James Gibson.
Kevin Wayne Dunlap, 36, right, is seen during his arraignment on Oct. 2 in Hopkinsville, Ky., with his lawyer James Gibson. (Kentucky New Era via AP)
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ROARING SPRING, Ky. A man accused of killing three siblings in southwest Kentucky once lived near the slain teenage girls and their brother, state police said Tuesday.

Kevin Wayne Dunlap, 36, of Hopkinsville, once lived "down the road" from the home in Trigg County near Fort Campbell where the three were slain last week, Trooper Dean Patterson said. It is possible "that they at least knew each other," said Patterson, who declined to elaborate.

The statement came a day after Dunlap's initial court appearance by video from jail in neighboring Christian County, where he remains without bond. He was represented by a public defender and did not enter a plea to three counts of capital murder and other charges in the slayings of Kayla Williams, 17; Kortney Frensley, 14; and Ethan Frensley, 5.

The three were found dead in a burning house in Roaring Spring last week. Their mother, Kristy Frensley, was wounded but survived. Dunlap was arrested Saturday, three days after the fire.

Dunlap also faces charges of kidnapping, rape, attempted murder, burglary and tampering with physical evidence. Police have not said who they believe was raped. A coroner's statement said the older girl died from a cut to the neck and the younger children died of multiple stab wounds.

Dunlap's public defender James Gibson said Tuesday he had no comment on the case. A preliminary hearing was set for Friday morning.

One of Dunlap's former addresses is six houses down from Frensley's on a rural road with a row of homes on one side. The burned remains of Frensley's home is clearly visible from the backyard of the tiny house with brown siding where Dunlap lived.

A few bouquets of flowers and a stuffed teddy bear lined the road near the mailbox in front of Frensley's house on Tuesday.

Dunlap is a father of at least two young children, according to records from a Christian County divorce case that was dismissed in 2004 without dissolving the marriage.

He served in the Army from 1989 until 2002, according to Master Sgt. Keith O'Donnell, spokesman for U.S. Army Human Resources Command. After being released from the Army, he served two years with the Kentucky National Guard in a now defunct unit based in Hopkinsville, guard spokesman David Altom said.

G.L. Ovey, the commonwealth's attorney for Trigg County, said there are no plans for a grand jury to meet before Friday, so the preliminary hearing will likely go forward.

Ovey said the case qualifies for the death penalty due to aggravating charges, but he wouldn't comment on whether he plans to seek it.

Brad Phelps, who lives next to Dunlap's former residence, said he recently moved in and was upset by the killings just down the street.

"It takes some innocence away from what I see as a good neighborhood," he said. "Leaving your door unlocked, them days is over."

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