Love, Honor, Betray on ID is investigating a murder-for-hire case in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where Deatra “Sunny” Gunn-Halley attempted to have her husband, Robert “Butch” Halley, murdered so that she could collect on a significant life insurance policy.
Sunny Gunn-Halley already had a lengthy criminal past; she’d faced an array of charges that included domestic violence and drug smuggling; however, when she became romantically involved with Butch Halley, she assured him that she had found God and had reformed her wicked ways.
Unfortunately, her assertion wasn’t entirely true. Not long after their marriage, Gunn-Halley had gone back to her old habits and was already under investigation by the Parkersburg police for illegally selling pain medication.
Her husband, Butch, claimed that he still loved her and stuck by her, but their relationship was beginning to deteriorate. Family and friends then started to warn him that they’d overheard his wife talking about killing him. But Butch refused to believe them.
In the fall of 2009, Gunn-Halley approached an old family friend called Frank Robinson and asked him to murder Butch in exchange for $10,000.
Robinson had no intention of taking her up on this offer. He had actually recorded part of the conversation and had already decided to go to the cops. However, he decided to string her along by saying he had an uncle in New York who would be willing to do the crime.
Cops set a trap for Sunny Gunn-Halley in murder-for-hire case
In the meantime, Robinson took the info to the cops, who decided to set a trap for Gunn-Halley. State Trooper Reggie Paterson posed as Robinson’s uncle, a hitman from NY, and told Gunn-Halley she would need to pay him $15,000 to kill Butch.
Gunn-Halley accepted this price increase and actually gave Paterson her wedding ring as a down payment. This was all caught on camera, and she was subsequently arrested and charged.
It’s suspected that Gunn-Halley’s primary motive for the murder-for-hire was money; her husband had a life insurance policy worth $130,000, and she wanted to get her hands on that cash.
In December 2010, Gunn-Halley pleaded guilty to solicitation to commit a felony crime of violence and was sentenced to 3 to 15 years in prison. She served approximately four and half years before she was released.
More from Love, Honor, Betray
Gerard Pepin, a psychotherapist, and drug and alcohol counselor, was accused of sexually assaulting vulnerable patients when his wife, Deborah Jones, decided to help the cops bring her husband to justice. Pepin was also later involved in assisting his new wife’s suicide.
Michael Mastromarino, aka the bodysnatcher, used a network of undertakers to harvest tissue from corpses illegally and then sell it on for thousands of dollars. His crimes were only uncovered when the NYPD stumbled into a secret room with medical equipment at a mortuary.
Love, Honor, Betray airs at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.