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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The two inmates who told police Stanley Dishon gave them information in prison about how and why he killed his niece, Jessica Dishon, asked investigators in letters to help him them get out of jail for their cooperation.
"I feel our testimony is worth something," Russell Millburn wrote to Bullitt County Det. Lynn Hunt in an undated letter released in court records this week. "I trust in you and feel that you are willing to go to bat for me."
Millburn told Hunt he was trying to help her, Jessica Dishon's family "and myself," asking her to have prosecutors make him an officer and get him released and "I will give them Stanley Dishon. Her family has waited long enough."
The letter was part of evidence filed by the Bullitt Commonwealth's Attorney's office Feb. 14 as part of a request by Stanley Dishon's defense attorneys to get any correspondence between the two inmates and any deals they may have received.
The other inmate, Howard Royalty, asked Hunt in a letter to help have his 2011 first degree sex abuse charge dropped if he cooperates, so he could go home.
Royalty wrote that Hunt had promised to help him with the parole board but that he will have nearly served his sentence by the time he was eligible for parole.
"The bottom line is, I feel like I should get something out of this besides parole," he wrote in the undated letter. "I hope you understand where I am coming from."
So far, according to court records, Hunt and Louisville Det. Gary Huffman both wrote letters to the parole board in October on behalf of Milburn, saying that "as a direct result" of his cooperation, Stanley Dishon was "successfully indicted."
Hunt told the board that Milburn's information "proved to be true and accurate and was offered freely to me, absent any promise of benefit of any kind."
The parole board deferred Milburn for 12 months and is he still in prison, according to Department of Corrections officials.
There is no indication of any help from prosecutors in the court records for Royalty. He is also still in prison.
Jennifer Wittmeyer, one of Stanley Dishon's attorneys, declined to comment on Monday but has said that "The evidence is weak," noting that only about 150 of the more than 1,000 pages of evidence turned over to the defense has anything to do with her client. "It's all circumstantial. I haven't seen any physical evidence so far."
The informants claim Stanley Dishon told them he confronted and then strangled his niece, out of anger, jealousy and fear that she was going to reveal that he had been having sex with the 17-year-old.
Jessica vanished from her driveway on Sept. 10, 1999. Police have said she was dragged from the front seat of her car as she was leaving for school.
Her body was found 17 days later about seven miles away in a site known as the Salt River bottoms, a dumping ground for trash, stolen vehicles and other contraband. She had been beaten and strangled.
Also among the evidence, family members of Stanley Dishon describe his odd behavior around the time the teen was killed and investigators say they caught Dishon in several lies during an interview in which he denied having anything to do with the murder.
Stanley Dishon also has a criminal history of sexually abusing young girls. He pleaded guilty in 2004 to two counts of sodomy, entering an Alford plea, meaning he maintained his innocence but acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict him. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2005.
Stanley Dishon repeatedly denied having any involvement during a nearly two- hour interview with investigators, saying the prison informants were lying. Detectives pushed Dishon, telling him they had evidence pointing to his involvement.
"I don't care what you got. I did not do anything to harm my niece," Dishon said. "I know that. … I did not murder my niece. I am innocent."
The rest of the evidence, at least so far, is the past investigation into David "Bucky" Brooks and two men who were seen with Jessica the night before she disappeared.
Hunt, however, said in court recently that she has sent out more than 80 pieces of evidence for testing.
Bullitt Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Man has said his office will not talk about evidence in the case. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Ferguson, who is handling the Dishon murder, has not returned phone calls or e-mails seeking comment.
Prosecutors said recently that they are not seeking the death penalty against Stanley Dishon.
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