You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Son gets life without parole in mother’s death

Supporters show up on behalf of Clark County woman brutally beaten.


A cry went up as a judge handed down a life sentence with no parole Thursday for murderer Ryan Dillon. Friends of his mother, victim Vicky Burks, exchanged hugs and wiped tears from their eyes.

Dillon, a 26-year-old Moorefield Twp. resident, will spend the rest of his life behind bars for beating Burks to death, and he received the news alone, staring stonily ahead. During the five-day trial, he had no supporters in the courtroom other than his attorney — no friends, no family. Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson remarked it was the only case he could recall not seeing someone there who cared about the defendant.

“The tragic part of this case is, the only person who probably would have come to support him, he hated and he ended up killing,” Wilson said.

Dillon was convicted by a jury last week on charges of aggravated murder, felony murder, murder, tampering with evidence and receiving stolen property. He killed his mother May 9, 2012, by repeatedly bashing her in the head with a tee-ball bat. Investigators said the attack was so ferocious, Dillon fractured Burks’ hands as she tried to cover herself, and he left dents in the floor when his swings missed. He then dumped her body down the cellar stairs, cleaned up the blood and fled to Wisconsin in a stolen pickup truck.

Dillon denied requests by the Springfield News-Sun for a jailhouse interview and made no remarks on his own behalf prior to sentencing. His attorney, Shawn Murphy, repeated his client’s private profession of innocence and asked for mercy for the young man who’s battled mental illness for years.

Dillon has been diagnosed as bi-polar, suffering from depression, and told doctors he could hear voices, but two separate examinations deemed him fit to stand trial. Wilson also argued Dillon’s actions following the killing showed clear thought and calculation: he cleaned up the crime scene, fled the state and lied to authorities about his identity when questioned.

Three deputies surrounded Dillon as Judge Douglas Rastatter sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. He did grant him concurrent sentences on the tampering with evidence and receiving stolen property charges, both of which he also received the maximum punishment for a total of 4.5 years.

The dozen women who’ve attended every day of the trial in honor of Burks wore buttons with her photo Thursday. They said the sentence was satisfying, but they wondered how Burks herself would have reacted. Prior to her death, she wrote a letter to the court expressing her difficulty reconciling her love for her son with Dillon’s admission that if he ever went back to jail he would kill her.

“Why? Why would you do that to your mother?” friend Martha Tackett asked. “She actually loved him to death.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Crime

Woman attacked with hot sauce bottle in karaoke fight, police say
Woman attacked with hot sauce bottle in karaoke fight, police say

A woman has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after attacking another woman with a hot sauce bottle following a karaoke performance in Austin, Texas, according to a report by KEYE. The news station, citing an affidavit, reports that Austin police responded to a call Thursday at La Catedral del Marisco on Oltorf Street...
After 6-year-old shoots boy, 8, police plead with parents to lock up guns
After 6-year-old shoots boy, 8, police plead with parents to lock up guns

An Ohio police department hopes that an accidental shooting of an 8-year-old boy will serve as a warning to other parents about safe gun storage. Last week, an 8-year-old and a 6-year-old found a loaded gun in the basement of a Mount Vernon home and started playing with it, according to Columbus police and Raw Story. That gun went off...
New Carlisle restaurant damaged by tornado reopening today
New Carlisle restaurant damaged by tornado reopening today

The Mel-O-Dee Restaurant that was damaged by a May tornado is reopening today. The restaurant at 2350 S. Dayton-Lakeview Road in Park Layne sustained about $100,000 in damage when a confirmed EF1 tornado touched down May 24. Mel-O-Dee will officially reopen at 11 a.m. today, according to a post to the restaurant’s Facebook page. The tornado ripped...
Is Seattle's minimum wage hike costing jobs? Here's what 2 studies say
Is Seattle's minimum wage hike costing jobs? Here's what 2 studies say

Two studies show there is no denying that most $15 minimum wage workers in Seattle are making more money, but a new University of Washington report shows more costs than benefits. Another study from the University of California Berkeley says the law has boosted pay for restaurant workers without losing jobs, but it did not examine other industries...
Another juror in Cosby case opens up about deliberations
Another juror in Cosby case opens up about deliberations

Another juror in the Bill Cosby sexual-assault case is talking about the deliberations. "I flip-flopped back and forth plenty of times," said Robert Dugan, the first non-alternate juror to show his face. Dugan said he believed Cosby was guilty after Cosby's 2005 deposition was read in court. He said that he couldn't get past the fact that...
More Stories