DOUBLE MURDERERS DONALD LEVOUGHN GUSSLER & MONTIE GUSSLER ARE UP FOR PAROLE IN FOUR MONTHS
Two notorious brothers from Lawrence County who were convicted of the brutal and sadistic killing of an elderly Lawrence County man and his daughter in May 1986 are coming up for parole this coming May, at almost 35 years to the day of their vicious criminal actions.
Donald Levoughn Gussler, 60, is currently incarcerated at the Little Sandy Correctional Complex in Sandy Hook, in Elliott County, Kentucky; where he is serving a life sentence for the death of Roosevelt Murray, who was 79 years old, and his daughter, Myrtle Evans, who was 57 years old, and Myrtle Evans was also the mother of nine children.
Donald Gussler’s younger brother, Montie Gussler, 57, entered a plea agreement in which he agreed to serve a life sentence with no possibility of parole and is currently at the Lee Adjustment Center, in Lee County, Kentucky; which is a private incorporated prison that has a state contract with the Kentucky Department of Corrections.
Donald and Montie Gussler, who were 20 and 17, respectively, when the crimes occurred, have parole hearings scheduled for March.
According to the court records on file, in May 1986, Donald Gussler and Montie Gussler asked Evans to use the phone and was granted permission. After using the phone, they left but returned less than five minutes later to use it again, Donald Gussler told police at the time.
When both of the Gussler brothers entered the second time, Donald Gussler picked up “a handgun and a bunch of long guns,” which included Mr. Murray’s .22 rifle, and that was when Mr. Murray, who had been ill for a period of time, according to his relatives, and who was being cared for by his daughter Ms. Evans, started fighting him (Gussler), the written confession said.
Donald Gussler told authorities that he hadn’t pointed the gun at Mr. Murray but that they “started wrestling around,” then pushed Mr. Murray to the ground where he hit his head on the wall in the kitchen, then tied him to a chair using curtains and a telephone cord, that had been jerked out of the kitchen wall by Montie Gussler.
Myrtle Evans was escorted outside the home. Moments later, Montie Gussler beat Rooseevelt Murray in the back of the head with a claw hammer, Donald Gussler said in his confession.
Donald Gussler said that he attempted to burn Nr. Murray’s body and his home by setting a mattress in one of the bedrooms on fire. Days later and before the bodies were discovered, he went back and set a second fire.
In the process, the brothers robbed Roosevelt Murray of about “5 or 6 guns and 25 pennies,” Donald Gussler said in a court transcript of his confession.
The brothers then kidnapped Myrtle Evans and forced her to drive to various locations in Lawrence County, court records said.
In an attempt to escape the Gussler brothers, Myrtle Evans told the two she had to use the restroom. They had her stop the vehicle on Brushy Hill, court records show.
“I walked behind the car and she was in front of the car,” Donald Gussler said in his confession. Donald Gussler also said that he “heard a sound like someone was running and everything went black. I went and grabbed a gun and started shooting.”
Donald Gussler told police authorities that he then fired four or five gunshots.
Myrtle Evans was shot twice in the right arm and twice in the chest, autopsy reports show. Mr. Murray’s and Ms. Evan’s bodies were not located by family members until nine days later.
Donald Gussler was also a suspect in several break-ins in the Lawrence County community during the time period in which the murders occurred, police indicated in their reports.
Since being incarcerated in a state prison, Donald Gussler has continued getting in trouble. In 1989, he was disciplined for fighting another inmate. In 2010, he was also punished for getting caught with marijuana, Kentucky Department of Corrections personnel have said.
Donald Gussler faced the state parole board May 2011, during which family members asked that he be denied parole and encouraged citizens to sign a petition to keep him incarcerated.
The exact day in this coming May of the next parole hearing for the Gussler brothers has not been set, but it assured that surviving relatives of Roosevelt Murray and Myrtle Evans will let local media and citizens of Lawrence County know when that will be taking place, and what efforts local residents can do to help in stopping the Gussler brothers getting paroled.