Friends, co-workers remember former officer murdered

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Those who knew the former Jefferson City police officer murdered by his wife best are opening up.

Friends and former co-workers of Paul Plunkett are standing up for the man after he was accused of abusing his wife during her trial for his murder.

Sandra Plunkett was found guilty Friday of the Jan. 1, 2011, murder of Paul in the couple's home.  Her defense claimed that she shot and killed her husband because he abused her for years.

Close friend and former co-worker, Capt. Doug Shoemaker of the Jefferson City Police Department told ABC 17 News he does not believe any of Sandra's accusations of abuse are true.

"I don't think there's any man in this department who would think that's true," Shoemaker said. "Paul was genuine.  He couldn't lie to you if he tried."

Shoemaker said hearing this defense was the hardest part about being at the trial.

"It's unfortunate Paul is vilified this way and couldn't be here to defend himself," he said.

Now Shoemaker is trying to defend Paul instead, hoping people will remember the man's reputation prior to the trial.

"Everyone in the department liked him. Even if he arrested someone, they liked him," Shoemaker said.  "That says a lot about an officer."

He said the Cardinals fan will be remembered best for his attitude and success with community policing.

"What wasn't brought up in trial was Paul's helpful nature," he said.

Shoemaker told ABC 17 News that helpful nature included trying to help his wife when she was abusing drugs.

Throughout the time of her abuse, Shoemaker said Paul still had nothing but love for his wife.

"They were best friends.  They went to Cardinals games together, they shared a love of that," he remembered.

Sandra Plunkett is facing life in prison.

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