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Friends doubt husband's account of eastside woman's killing

Jul 30, 2023

by: Russ McQuaid

Posted: Mar 12, 2023 / 09:41 PM EDT

Updated: Mar 13, 2023 / 08:48 AM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS — Lacie Dunegan had a short answer to a long question about the killing of her friend Dorothy Pulley in the 600 block of Oak Avenue last Monday morning.

”There’s just a lot of things that don’t make sense.”

David Brinker, 37, was arrested Saturday and charged with Reckless Homicide as prosecutors didn’t review the case for several days after the death of his 36-year-old wife, the mother of a six-month-old daughter.

No initial hearing or bond has been set.

If convicted, Brinker faces no more than six years in prison for his wife’s killing.

”If I was to go out and assault someone, they would take me to jail right away, but he was able to shoot my best friend and not even worry about it. They took him to the hospital,” said Jillian Elza. ”This is ridiculous. There is no way he did not mean to hurt her. There is no way. You don’t grab a gun unless you’re wanting to hurt someone.”

When police arrived, they found Brinker in the middle of the street next to his truck, his wife’s lifeless body on the pavement partially beneath the vehicle, the next block over from their home.

By midweek, IMPD detectives had filed a Probable Cause Affidavit to seize seven guns from Brinker under Indiana’s Red Flag Law, intended to remove firearms from the possession of an owner who is anticipated of being a potential imminent danger to him or herself or others.

In that PC, detectives quote Brinker as uttering, “It should have been me,” and, “I don’t want to be here anymore.”

In that affidavit, investigators wrote, “According to Mr. Brinker, who was armed with a handgun, the firearm discharged striking Ms. Pulley when Mr. Brinker was trying to reach into the partially open window to open the door and stop the truck.”

Pulley’s friends aren’t buying the explanation.

“For one, he’s not stupid when it comes to weapons. He’s very proficient with guns. He’s very proficient with weapons,” said Elza. “Two, why would anyone stick the hand they’re holding the gun in into a vehicle unless they were trying to point the gun at someone who’s in the vehicle? Three, why would you pull a gun on your wife?”

“You only pull a gun when you have the intention of harming somebody,” said Dunegan.

Elza and Dunegan said Pulley had a great evening with her friends as they attended a baby shower and dined in Greenfield before she started receiving threatening text messages from Brinker.

”He wasn’t being very nice to her,” said Dunegan. ”He was calling her names. Like he was calling her a dumbass. He was calling her a whore. He was being very aggressive towards her. She didn’t want to go home because she was upset that he was really angry.”

The friends said Pulley resisted their advice to take an Uber home from the restaurant.

”’If I don’t take my car home he’s going to kill me,’” Dunegan quoted her friend. “She had to take her car home. She was like, ‘If I don’t take my car home, he’s going to kill me.’”

During that last dinner on the last night of her life, Pulley revealed to her friends the secrets of a marriage under stress.

”She did let us know a few things the day that this happened, messages that he sent her, some of the problems they were having,” said Elza. ”He apparently started gambling online with cryptos and since the baby’s been born and they were negative $18,000.”

”She stopped working as much,” said Dunegan. “She started isolating herself a lot. They had cameras inside of their home.”

As devoted as she was to her baby, Dunegan said Pulley must have been fleeing for her life at the time of the shooting.

”She was running from him. She was running from him. He was chasing her,” she said. ”Why wouldn’t you just let her leave? If you love somebody, why wouldn’t you just let them leave?”

The interview with Dunegan and Elza was punctuated by laughter as they recalled their friend and the small kindnesses she bestowed on them and on customers at a Shelbyville casino where she tended the bar.

Only once did Dunegan’s voice choke up with emotion.

”I can’t over-emphasize this enough. She was the brightest light you will ever have in your life,” said Dunegan as she fought back tears. “She was happy.”

The Marion County Prosecutor has not yet released the PC that led to Brinker’s arrest.



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