By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
JEFFERSON – The trial of Sandy Duncan for the murder of his cousin Danny Duncan is set to begin three years almost to the date after the shooting death.
Danny Duncan died during a frog gigging trip during the Memorial Day weekend in 2017. Sandy Duncan’s trial for his role in that death is set to begin on the day after the 2020 Memorial Day holiday, May 26.
The long wait for a trail has weighed on all parties.
“I can’t tell you how difficult life has been for my children,” Christiana Stebans, Danny Duncan’s ex-wife, told the Jimplecute in 2018.
Sandy Duncan has also said that he is ready for a trial.
“I, too, would like to get this over with,” Sandy Duncan, who made bail the day he was arrested, said in a 2018 interview. “It’s wearing on me and mine.”
All Stebans sees, however, is the man who shot her ex-husband walking the streets.
“I don’t understand any of this,” Stebans said. “He’s still allowed to live his life.”
Stebans, who has taught in Jefferson ISD schools, said she and her family constantly encounter Duncan in their small hometown, Linden.
They see each other at church, at the grocery store and their children go to the same school, Linden-Kildare.
“It rips at your heart,” Stebans said. “It’s almost like having this Band-aide. It starts to feel a little bit better and every time you see him, it’s ripped right off.”
Sandy Duncan maintains his innocence.
“It was 100 percent an accident,” Duncan said. “I feel horrible over what happened.”
The three cousins – Sandy, Danny and William Duncan, Jr. – started on their frog gigging trip at 10 p.m. in a 12-foot aluminum johnboat they paddled.
“I had shot at a snake,” Sandy Duncan related. Danny also “shot at the snake. I went to lay my .357 down. The gun went off. The shot went through my left hand and struck Danny in back.”
It would be five and a half hours before they could get help.
The boat tipped over and everyone went into the water. It was 4:30 a.m, May 28, 2017.
Marion County Sheriff David McKnight reported in 2018, “Danny Duncan died due to a single gunshot wound. This incident was first reported as accidental, and circumstances warranted further investigation, which resulted in Sandy Duncan’s indictment by a Marion County Grand Jury.”
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