FAYETTEVILLE — A Washington County jury convicted Bob Devor on Friday of hindering the investigation of his wife’s murder.
Law enforcement officials and prosecutors said Pauline Devor, 70, was beaten and shot by her daughter, Delores Jean Eggert, and another woman, Monica Baustista, on June 14, 2007. The two then burned her body in a secluded area of the Devor Farm.
Authorities said Devor staged a crime scene, lied to mislead investigators, concealed evidence, gave Eggert access to cash and Pauline Devor’s vehicle and assisted her with fleeing Washington County. They also contend Devor and Eggert had a sexual relationship, a charge both denied at trial.
Eggert, 50, pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to 30 years at the Arkansas Department of Correction as part of a plea bargain to avoid a potential life sentence for capital murder.
Baustista turned state’s evidence against Eggert in 2009 in exchange for immunity from prosecution.
“This was a very fact-intensive case, but when you tie everything together it shows that he knew about it from the beginning,” said Denis Dean, deputy prosecuting attorney. “And, everything he did after that was an attempt to steer law enforcement away from his family and what really happened.”Gallery: devor trial
The jury recommended Devor be sentenced to 10 years at the Arkansas Department of Correction and fined $15,000. Formal sentencing is set for Feb. 25 before Circuit Judge William Storey. The delay is to allow Devor to have hip replacement surgery.
“I didn’t intentionally do it,” Devor told the jury after being found guilty.
Ron Woodruff, an attorney for Devor, asked jurors for leniency, saying his client has already suffered greatly with the loss of his wife, his stepdaughter and the loss of his home on the family’s 770-acre farm. Woodruff said Devor is also about to lose to foreclosure any remaining property he has, including the apartment where he now lives.
“Whatever Bob did was in an effort to support his family,” Woodruff said.
But, Dean told jurors Devor’s actions delayed justice for Pauline Devor for three years and cost thousands of dollars and thousands of law enforcement man-hours to be wasted.
“It’s about a dead woman and her husband who covered up her murder,” Dean said. “The defendant was leading them on a wild goose chase and I think he was enjoying it while he was doing it.”
Pauline Devor’s body was never recovered.
In his testimony Thursday, Devor said he did not believe his stepdaughter to be guilty in the death of his wife.
“They have not proved to me that she killed her mother,” he said. “I fully believed someone followed her home from the casino and knocked her in the head.”
Authorities, using information from Baustista, found in April 2009 what they believe to be minuscule human remains, including charred bones and a couple of dental crowns, on the Devor farm in northwest Washington County, near Cincinnati. Bautista pointed the finger at Eggert.
The defense contended Devor was targeted because he didn’t get along with investigators.
“He had spit in the face of authority,” Bill Mayo, another of Devor’s attorneys, told jurors. “He had absolutely nothing to gain. He’s a prideful fool.”