Driver sentenced to 36 months in dragging death, girlfriend pleads guilty to obstruction

HAMILTON, Ohio - The driver involved in the June dragging death of a Middletown woman was sentenced to 36 months in prison Tuesday.

A woman, also involved, pleaded guilty earlier in the day to her role in the incident.

Dustin Watkins was sentenced by Judge James Spaeth to prison and a three-year license suspension, in addition to court costs, for his role as the driver in the dragging death of Kristina Purdin Dunn, 27.

Maria Misquez, Watkins' girlfriend, pleaded guilty to two counts of obstructing justice for trying to cover for Watkins. She will be sentenced at 9 a.m. on Nov. 27.

Michael Dunn, Kristina's husband, was allegedly buying pills from Watkins. Kristina saw the transaction and stormed outside swatted the pills out of her husband's hand and tried to recover the $130 her husband paid Watkins by reaching into the SUV he was driving.

The money was intended for rent.

After Dunn reached into the SUV Watkins sped off, causing Dunn to become trapped by a seatbelt inside the SUV.

According to her mother, Loretta Morgan. Kristina tried to run to keep up, but according to her husband, she couldn't and fell.

She was run over by the back tire, seriously injuring her head. She was taken to University Hospital, where her mother said she was "brain dead." They eventually pulled her off life support, and Kristina died.

At the scene Michael Dunn told reporters and police the dispute was over a paint job Watkins had failed to complete.

The Hamilton County Coroner's Office says Dunn died from a skull fracture and blunt force trauma to the head. Dunn was the mother of three children, ages 9, 8 and 5.

"The youngest, Brandon, believes his mother is still in the hospital," said Morgan, "The eldest, Morgan, has nightmares and asks me 'why didn't they stop?'"

"I would like to say that I'm sorry," Watkins said in court Tuesday. "It was never my intention for this to happen."

Watkins maintained that the SUV door struck Kristina Dunn and that she fell but that he did not drag her forty feet nor run over her.

Watkins faced up to 68 months in prison.

Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for updates as they become available.

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