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.

breaking news

John Glenn, the 'last true national hero,' dead at 95

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

Stolen necklace containing daughter’s ashes returned to Va. couple
Stolen necklace containing daughter’s ashes returned to Va. couple
A Virginia couple, whose necklace containing their daughter’s ashes, was returned nearly three weeks after it was stolen, WTKR reported.
Guns in Ohio: Lamakers making major changes to bill early Friday
Guns in Ohio: Lamakers making major changes to bill early Friday
Alabama executes man for 1994 murder of store clerk
Alabama executes man for 1994 murder of store clerk
An Alabama man convicted of killing a convenience store clerk in 1994 was executed late Thursday, prison officials said.
From life support to truancy, lawmakers cram in session’s final day
From life support to truancy, lawmakers cram in session’s final day
Ohio lawmakers vote to prohibit suspending students over absences
Ohio lawmakers vote to prohibit suspending students over absences
More Stories