Pettey to spend rest of life in prison after guilty verdict

Kimberly Young, front left in blue, the younger sister of Sandra Fugate, holds back the tears as Calvin Duane Pettey was found guilty of first degree murder. To the right of Young is Mary Patterson, Fugate's mother. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)
Posted: Jun. 20, 2012 3:16 pm Updated: Nov. 29, 2014 12:18 am
Calvin Duane Pettey, in light blue, appears to bow his head in prayer before the verdict is read Wednesday. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

MEXICO, Mo. — An Audrain County jury deliberated for a little more than three hours Wednesday before finding Calvin Duane Pettey guilty of murdering fiancée Sandra Fugate in her Hannibal home more than two years ago.

Members of Fugate's family and friends cried and raised fists when Judge Keith Sutherland read the verdict in the Audrain County Courthouse. The 42-year-old Pettey, who will be sentenced Aug. 27 to life in prison by Sutherland, showed little emotion when the verdict was read.

Fugate's mother, Mary Patterson, hugged friends and family outside the courthouse after Pettey was led away. He will be lodged in the Marion County Jail until sentencing. Life in prison without parole is the mandatory sentence for first-degree murder in Missouri.

"I just want to know why he did it," said Patterson, who testified about finding her daughter's body in the basement of Fugate's home on Iowa Street in Hannibal on April 15, 2010. "Why didn't he just leave her?"

Key trial testimony came Tuesday morning from Rebecca Kirk, who said she and Pettey were lovers and plotted to kill Fugate because he didn't want to go through with their planned wedding on April 17, 2010. Kirk said she could not go through with several murder plans, although she did dispose of evidence and never told police or Fugate about the plot.

"She (Kirk) is just as guilty as he is," Patterson said. "Her day will come."

Marion County Prosecutor Tom Redington said he was "pleased" with the trial outcome, but did not say if Kirk will be charged. The statute of limitations is three years.

"You will just have to wait and see," said Redington.

Defense attorney Todd Schulze declined to comment when leaving the courtroom.

Patterson said friends and family have helped her get through "hell" since her daughter was murdered.

"They've all been with me from day one," she said through tears.

A group of women calling themselves "Sandy's Sisterhood" said Fugate was "finally as peace." One of them yelled "Guilty!" as they stood outside the courthouse on a warm summer day.

The trial lasted three days, and featured about 70 exhibits and 27 witnesses.


Marion County Prosecutor Tom Redington, center, casts a steely glare at Calvin Duane Pettey immediately after Pettey was found guilty in the 2010 death of Sandra Fugate Wednesday afternoon in the Audrain County Courthouse. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)


Kimberly Young, left, younger sister of Sandra Fugate, comforts Mary Patterson, Fugate's mother, after the guilty verdict was read. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)


Mary Patterson, the mother of Sandra Fugate, keeps a tight grip on Fugate's youngest sister, Kimberly Young, front center, who glares at Calvin Duate Pettey as Pettey was led out of the courtroom. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)


Sign up for Email Alerts