Pharos-Tribune

Local News

February 27, 2013

Plea deal accepted in Funke case

Travis Funke receives 35 years in prison in the death of Kelly Armstrong

Howard Superior Court II Judge Brant Parry accepted a plea bargain Tuesday in the emotionally charged case against Travis Funke, who admitted to killing his girlfriend, Kelly Armstrong, 27, in 2011, and sentenced Funke to 35 years in prison.

Funke, 35, appeared in court handcuffed and shackled and pleaded guilty to class A felony voluntary manslaughter.

After hearing evidence, Parry accepted the plea and sentenced Funke to 50 years, with 35 years in prison and 15 years probation. As part of the plea, Funke is required to cooperate with police and tell them where he dumped Armstrong’s body.

If Funke declines or gives false information, Parry said he would be in violation of his probation and could receive the additional 15 years in prison instead of probation.

Funke admitted he killed her with a hammer July 8, 2011, at a mobile home at 2501 Apperson Way North after the two fought, according to police.

Funke further said he wrapped her body in a tarp and threw her in a trash container. Police then tracked the trash to the Wabash County landfill.

Investigators searched the landfill for six days but never found her body.

During the hearing, Funke did not make a statement. He only answered “yes, sir” when asked by the judge if he understood the terms of the plea, his rights and the punishment.

Funke also answered, “yes, sir” when Parry asked whether he knowingly and intentionally killed Armstrong while acting under sudden heat, which is the definition of voluntary manslaughter.

About a dozen family members of Armstrong attended the hearing and urged Funke to tell them where they can find her body.

“Where’s Kelly?” Armstrong’s father, David Armstrong, said on the stand, staring at Funke. “That’s all we want.”

David Armstrong doesn’t believe Funke has been truthful when it comes to Kelly’s whereabouts and asked Judge Parry to take the plea under consideration to give the family more time to find their loved one.

“Just give us Kelly and it’s all over,” David continued. “You have lied to us too many times. Just give us our daughter.”

Family members of Kelly Armstrong reported her missing Sept. 26, 2011. She had not been seen since June.

When initially questioned by Kokomo police, Funke denied any involvement. Police did arrest Funke on an escape charge for cutting off his in-home detention monitoring device. Funke was on house arrest out of Marshall County on an unrelated charge.

The case intensified in October when detectives were told by jail officials that Funke had admitted to a cell mate that he killed Armstrong.

In subsequent interviews with police, Funke again admitted to killing her.

Throughout the case, Kelly’s family has been critical of the police and the prosecutor’s office and believe Funke has been lying.

KPD Detective Mike Banush took the stand and testified that detectives and the prosecutor’s office have communicated with the family about the case throughout the process. He also said police spent six days and 660 man hours searching for Kelly’s body to no avail.

Banush said police found several of items from Funke’s trailer at the landfill, but did not find her body. He added that a supervisor at the landfill said there’s very little chance of finding anything in the landfill.

Armstrong’s mother, Teresa Edwards, went along with the plea, but believes police searched the trash from the wrong date and wants a continued search of the landfill.

“We last heard from her June,” she said. “They didn’t search the right date.”

“I don’t have a problem with the terms of the plea, I have a problem with Travis’ ability to tell the truth,” Edwards said on the stand prior to sentencing.

“I’ve known Travis for a long time, and I believe he is lying. All I want is Kelly.

“Whatever you decide today won’t change anything,” she told the judge. “I will continue to look for Kelly. I won’t stop.”

Several other family members also testified to the pain and suffering this case has caused the family and urged Funke to tell the truth.

“I just want my sister,” said Shelly Rush, Kelly’s sister. “I don’t care what happens to him. We just want to bring her home and give her a proper burial.”

Shelly Rush added that if the judge does accept the plea, she asked that a photo of Kelly hangs in Funke’s cell as a reminder of what he did to her sister.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Police Blotter: July 22, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 22, 2014

  • One dead, one seriously injured in crash on Division Road

    A Logansport man was killed and another was seriously injured in a single-vehicle crash Monday on Division Road.

    July 22, 2014

  • NWS-PT072214 Western Wildfires.jpg Local volunteer to help wildfire victims A Flora resident will be among the volunteers helping those affected by the wildfires in Washington State.Pat Rinehart was scheduled to fly out of Indianapolis International Airport Monday afternoon and join fellow American Red Cross volunteers at th

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT072214 Lauren Ray.jpg Logansport graduate makes a go at Hollywood “Instincta,” the latest film by a 2008 Logansport High School graduate, will be screened at the Gen Con Indy Film Festival in Indianapolis in August.It is an action, thriller cop drama short film, starring Logansport native Lauren Zehner Ray, Michael

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • EDU-PT072314 whitley lehr.jpg School's top honor goes to local grad Whitley Lehr chose Indiana University Kokomo because of its excellent School of Nursing. Receiving the campus’ most prestigious scholarships sealed the deal for each of her. The 18-year-old Delphi student called the Herbert Scholarship “a huge blessi

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-PT072214-Gwin3-BCM Landis Elementary teacher back from China experience Steve Gwin has hundreds of pictures already on his new laptop, just months after buying it. He spent the month of June in China teaching to kids at two schools and chronicled about each adventure.Gwin teaches first grade at Landis Elementary and got

    July 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Four injured when motorcycles collide Four people were injured Sunday when a motorcycle rear-ended another motorcycle. The accident occurred at 4:06 p.m. Sunday on the ramp from U.S. 35 North at U.S. 24, according to Cass County Sheriff Deputy Brad Craven. Riding a 2012 Harley-Davidson,

    July 21, 2014

  • Police Blotter: July 21, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    July 21, 2014

  • NWS-PT072014 Corn2.jpg Bumper crop? Corn farmers hopeful that good weather lasts Several Cass County corn farmers say they may see record-breaking harvests this fall thanks to “perfect” weather during the spring growing and summer pollination periods.“I think it’s going to be one of the best crops we’ve ever harvested,” southern

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • Monticello puts cardboard to the test MONTICELLO — Lori Abbott has been collecting pieces of cardboard for months now, in anticipation of the Monticello Rotary Club Cardboard Boat Regatta.“After work, I go home and work on the boat,” Abbott said.The second annual cardboard boat race is h

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
More pharostribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
eEdition