A Colorado jury has found Dylan Eason guilty of killing his stepmother, Cynthia Campbell Eason, 50, a veterinarian who had worked in the Kansas City area.
The Topeka native was found beaten to death in April 2016 at her home in Burlington, Colo., a town on Interstate 70 not far from the Kansas border.
Police arrested two young men for her murder. One was her husband Jon Eason’s son, Dylan, who was 19 at the time.
On Thursday, after a nearly two-week trial, a jury found Dylan Eason, now 20, guilty of murder, aggravated robbery and first-degree burglary, according to a press release posted on the Burlington police department’s Facebook page.
Isaiah Churchwell, who was also arrested last year for the killing, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated robbery. He was 24 at the time. He is currently serving a 52-year sentence for his involvement, according to district attorney Brittny Lewton’s office.
Police said the men entered Eason’s home on April 29, 2016, killed her and stole items from the house.
“This was a heinous crime committed in an exceptionally brutal manner depriving our community of a wonderful and beloved woman in Dr. Eason,” Lewton said in a press release. “I hope this conviction can bring some closure to the family.”
Last year Jon Eason told KSNT News in Topeka that he wanted the death penalty for his son and Churchwell.
“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have a son anymore,” Eason told KSNT before burying his wife in Topeka.
She was killed right before their fourth wedding anniversary.
Eason told KSNT that he and his wife had a long-distance marriage that worked well for them. He was a pilot working out of Texas at the time. She worked out of Colorado where she was known for her special way with horses.
According to her obituary, she was born in Topeka and graduated from Kansas State Veterinary School in 1990. In Kansas she worked at animal hospitals in Bucyrus, St. Francis and at the Bonner Springs Animal Care Center.
Dylan Eason is scheduled for sentencing on April 11. Lewton wanted to give family members enough time to travel to Colorado for the sentencing to start bringing closure to an extremely emotional situation, she said on Tuesday.
He will serve life in prison without parole, she said.
Jon Eason, who had poured out his grief on Facebook just hours after his wife died, posted a statement on his Facebook page on Friday, the day after the verdict.
“Yesterday was Cindy’s day, her killer was found guilty of Felony Murder and will serve life W/O Parole,” he wrote. “Thanks to all the support, just have the sentencing hearing in April and I can move forward.”