Calling it "the most senseless and tragic murder I have ever handled," Wayne County Court Judge Daniel Barrett sentenced Charlene Childers, wife of former Sunray Police Department Chief Timothy Paul Dean, to 28 years in New York state prison for her role in the shooting deaths of her ex-boyfriend, Joshua Niles, and his girlfriend, Amber Washburn, on October 22, 2018 in Sodus, New York, according to Georgie Silvarole of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, a reporter with whom the News-Press shares information.
Childers apologized in court Thursday, but it was little comfort to relatives of the victims. "You are a monster," said Nicole Gunkel, Joshua Niles' sister.
Childers pleaded guilty to one count of first degree manslaughter and one count of second degree criminal possession of a weapon earlier in the year in a plea bargain that led to her testifying against Dean in his murder trial in June. She had initially been charged with second degree murder.
In the trial, she testified that she and Dean began planning the murder of Niles in August 2018, shortly after Niles was given custody of the two children he had with Childers. The children had been living with Childers and Dean in Sunray. Dean was arrested in May 2018 on a charge of injury to a child in an incident involving a child he had with his first wife and was subsequently forced to resign as police chief.
Prosecutors alleged that Dean was the one who pulled the trigger to kill both Niles and Washburn, and a jury convicted him of first and second degree murder, among other charges. He will be sentenced July 25.
Bron Bohlar, a police officer in Sunray who began working in Sunray after Dean's resignation, pleaded guilty to second degree conspiracy in the case. He testified in Dean's trial that he knowingly rented a car for Dean to drive to New York to commit the murder of Niles. He was sentenced to one to three years in prison.