May 15, 2014 7:46 PM by Ashlea Bullington
A former exotic dancer from Baton Rouge has pleaded guilty in the 1984 slaying of a Crowley businessman whose body has never been found.
A Crowley businessman, Gary Kergan, was last seen November 28, 1984 between the hours of 2 am to 8 am. after attending 'Night Spot' Lounge where the former exotic dancer, Leila Mulla, worked. Kergan's car was found on Nov. 30th in Metairie, LA between 8:00 am and 9:00am with puddles of blood in the trunk of the car, but Kergan's body was no where to be found.
Mulla and boyfriend, Ronald Dunnagan, were arrested in Las Vegas a month after Kergan's body was found. Police say evidence of a violent struggle was found in their Baton Rouge apartment. According to ABC News, Mulla's diary had inserts of her plan to target and rob the wealthy Kergan. In 1985, the couple was released from jail due to lack of evidence; a year later Kergan was declared legally dead by court.
In 2012, thanks to the persistence of Kergan's brother Ted, the cold case was re-opened. With the technology advances since the original trials, police say DNA testing proved the blood in the couple's apartment and Kergan's car was a match. Dunnagan and Mulla were both re-arrested on murder charges.
In April of 2013, Mulla was indicted for first degree murder, but Dunnagan was released. Because of a plea deal reached today, Mulla will serve a 30 year prison sentence and is no longer being considered for the death penalty. She now has to cooperate with prosecutors regarding Dunnagan's involvement in the murder.
According to Baton Rouge affiliate WBRZ, prosecutors say Mulla and Dunnagan laced Kergan's wine with poison and were planning to rob him of the $2,000 in his wallet and jewelry on his body.
Following the plea, Kergan's son Wade said "it feels amazing to have some closure for the case and to have some justice."
The family released this statement to the press as well, "our family is very happy that after 30 years, justice is finally being served for Gary, who was an unwitting victim in a calculated act of brutal murder. It's been a long and painful road, but we've never given up on Gary and neither has the justice system."
Kergan's body still has not been found.