The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

January 24, 2013

Witness to woman’s slaying claims her boyfriend held gun on him

MIAMI, Okla. — Arturo Council described in court Thursday how Dustin Boggs abruptly attacked and killed Danyel Borden for no reason Council could discern June 14 of last year on a county road outside Miami.

Boggs had asked Council to give him and his girlfriend, Borden, a ride somewhere and was directing Council, who was driving, which roads to take from the back seat of the car. Borden was sitting in the front passenger seat, text-messaging someone, Council told the court.

They were listening to music and talking. There had been no argument, no angry words, Council said.

“All of a sudden I hear Danyel say, ‘Help me!’ and I looked over and he had a cord around her face,” Council testified.

He said the cord was across her mouth, and the sight was so surprising that he slammed on the brakes.

Council’s testimony, concerning what happened next and in the aftermath of the killing of Borden, 21, was instrumental in Boggs, 25, being ordered bound over for trial on a charge of first-degree murder after a preliminary hearing in Ottawa County District Court.

Special Judge Bill Culver ruled that there was probable cause for the charge despite defense attorney James Bowen’s argument that Council’s initial failure to report the woman’s slaying, subsequent lies he told investigators and his criminal record provided substantial reasons to doubt his account as the state’s key witness.

“Essentially, it’s a tossup as to who did what,” Bowen argued, even though Council has not been charged with any offense related to Borden’s death.

A state medical examiner’s report introduced into evidence by Assistant District Attorney Becky Baird lists the cause of death as both a gunshot wound and sharp force injuries to the woman’s head and neck. She was found lying on County Road 610 with a bullet wound to the face and a large cut across her neck.

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