Trial Underway for Emlenton Man Accused in Death of Kayla Dunlap

VENANGO CO., Pa. (EYT) – During the first day of the trial of a Venango County man charged for his involvement in the death of Kayla Dunlap, jurors saw multiple items of evidence and heard testimony from two of the investigating officers.

The trial started on Monday morning in the second-floor courtroom of the Venango County Courthouse.

Shaun M. Long, 51, of Emlenton, is charged with first-degree felony drug delivery resulting in death, along with a dozen other charges following an investigation into the death of 28-year-old Kayla Dunlap, of Callensburg, in September of 2017.

Jurors saw multiple items entered as evidence and viewed video footage of Dunlap and Long both inside an area convenience store, with Long purchasing items, leaving, and then returning while Dunlap browsed the store.

According to testimony from Trooper Knirnschild, of the Butler-based State Police, Long was initially interviewed on September 20, 2017. Knirnschild noted that as troopers were transporting Long to the barracks for the interview, Long mentioned a particular fondness for blueberry slashes from a stand that is located in the immediate area of where Dunlap’s body was located.

Knirnschild also testified that during the initial interview, Long denied any involvement in use or distribution of illegal substances. During that interview, Long was also asked if the police could look at his phone, but he refused. Authorities then requested and were granted a warrant to seize the phone, which they served at Long’s residence on October 3, according to Knirnschild.

Knirnschild testified that during the service of the warrant, the troopers saw a mirror with a white powdered substance and a cut straw laying out in plain view, which he noted was indicative of the use of a controlled substance. At that time, a search warrant for the entire residence was requested.

Under cross examination, Knirnschild was asked if Long appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance during the initial interview or the service of the warrant on October 3, and he stated that he did not. However, during the testimony, it also came to light that Long had a “medical episode” while he was being transported. Knirnschild stated Long became unresponsive and an ambulance was called, but Long regained consciousness and refused medical treatment.

Trooper King of the Vice Unit also testified.

His testimony focused particularly on the service of the search warrant on Long’s residence and the collection of evidence presented. The prosecution entered multiple photographs of evidence, ranging from a metallic platter with a white powdered substance, a credit card, a small baggie, razor blades, and cut straws to boxes of very small baggies that Knirnschild noted were “indicative of packaging for selling or distributing” controlled substances.

Other items photographed included everything from the general layout of the residence to closer images of other evidence that included a used Narcan nasal injector that was found in the trash and a suitcase that contained items Trooper King testified were indicative of the production of crystal methamphetamine.

The prosecution honed in on the items found in the suitcase, which were laid out in one photograph that included liquid Drano, tubing, channel locks, camp fuel, funnels, coffee filters, and the casing from a lithium battery that appeared to have been pried open. King testified that the items, put together, indicate the manufacture of methamphetamine utilizing the “one pot” method.

Another exhibit of evidence entered was a red book found in the living room of the residence.

The book contained what Trooper King referred to as an “owe sheet” of nicknames and amounts of money. Trooper King explained that the “owe sheet” also contained references to controlled substances such as how many “buns” (short for bundles) or “bricks” individuals had been given, and how many Long had used himself. It also contained additional notes, such as one stating “giving Grace a bun for her birthday,” and another stating “my person use dropped to nothing because of crystal meth.” Both Ritalin and Adderall were also mentioned in the “owe sheets.”

Under cross examination by the defense, Trooper King agreed that while the items of paraphernalia and items for packaging and distribution were found in the residence, no actual controlled substances were found or seized.

The defense also questioned the items found in the suitcase, asking if the elements found were combined, would it be enough to produce methamphetamine. King testified that it would not, and when asked, noted no pseudoephedrine was found.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 14. It is currently scheduled through Friday, January 17.

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