Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'I Will Pay for What I've Done'; Man Mutilated Teacher's Body, Pleads Guilty and Avoids Death Penalty

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

'I Will Pay for What I've Done'; Man Mutilated Teacher's Body, Pleads Guilty and Avoids Death Penalty

Article excerpt

Byline: DANA TREEN

ST. AUGUSTINE - A courtroom apology from the killer of a Putnam County schoolteacher whose body was dismembered didn't ease her family's pain.

A brother of Jan Dunn Keller was rebuked by Judge Wendy Berger Thursday when he blistered Timothy Dale Rose with profanity during sentencing that sent Rose to prison for life.

"Sir, sir," Berger said at the seconds-long outburst by Michael Dunn. "I'm not going to allow you to engage in that kind of behavior."

Dunn told the judge Rose was "a monster. He deserves what he gets."

Earlier in the half-hour hearing, Rose turned to several of Keller's family and apologized.

"I'm truly sorry," he said and recognized he could not bring her back. "I'm having a hard time dealing with it. I will pay for what I've done."

Rose also told his mother, who was in the courtroom that "you were a good mom and still are."

She responded with a tearful "I love you" and was allowed to hug him at the end of the hearing.

By pleading guilty to first-degree murder, Rose avoided the death penalty, but the 51-year-old maintenance man does not have a chance of parole.

Rose said he does not remember what happened, but admitted to killing Keller, his 48-year-old girlfriend.

He was with her at a St. Augustine bar Sunday, Aug. 22, before her family reported her missing the next morning when she didn't show up for teacher orientation at Kelley Smith Elementary School in Palatka. She taught third grade there.

Questioned by detectives, Rose said Keller left the bar with another man.

He was arrested Aug. 24 after deputies burst into the Samara Lakes subdivision house in western St. Johns and found Keller's mutilated body wrapped in a blanket in the garage. Keller had been decapitated and had other appendages cut off. Body parts were later found buried in an undeveloped section of the neighborhood. …

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