COLORADO SPRINGS — Nearly 10 months after the arrest of Dane Kallungi on accusations that he murdered his wife, 26-year-old Jepsy Amaga Kallungi, evidence was presented in a preliminary hearing, including a recording of a phone call between Dane and his ex-wife Alaine where Dane discusses the murder and disappearance of Jepsy.
At the end of the hearing, Judge Jessica Curtis ruled that the trial will move forward on first degree murder charges, rejecting the defense's argument that the evidence presented showed that it wasn't pre-meditated.
The evidence also included testimony from the lead detective on the case, Colorado Springs Police Officer Lee, and a CSPD Officer who conducted a welfare check following Jepsy's disappearance in March, Officer Mathis.
The recording lines up with what is laid out in the arrest affadavit, which claims Dane killed Jepsy after a domestic violence incident inflicted serious injuries, and that he decided to kill her after he saw that Jepsy was "suffering."
Dane in the phone call says he wanted to "stop the words coming from her mouth," for "just a second," but realized after that it was "more than a second."
Officer Lee made the decision to change the arrest warrant from second degree murder to first degree murder after hearing the call, according to testimony Friday. He said the possibility that Dane could've gotten Jepsy help from her suffering, rather than ending it, was what influenced that decision.
Dane is accused of carrying out the murder on March 20 in their Colorado Springs apartment, around 10:30 P.M.
Police said in the hearing that they received a phone call from Jepsy's number at 10:30 P.M., and attempted to contact her back twice at 10:31 and 10:32 P.M. The 911 call was the last call Jepsy's phone made.
According to testimony from police, the altercation that led to Jepsy's death began over text messages exchanged between Jepsy and another man named Travis, and an argument over money.
Location data from the phones of Jepsy and Travis do show them in the same location on March 20th, and testimony from police say they suspected the relationship between Jepsy and Travis was intimate.
In the phone call recording played in the trial Friday, Dane said that the day after the murder, he drove his child off at school and went to work, before he drove to Florissant and buried her body in a remote area there, saying in the phone call that "she was in my trunk and then after work I drove to Florissant and found a spot and like I just stuffed her and... hold on a second... yeah, I went to Florissant and no, I like said good bye to her before I put her in there and tried to apologize a million times."
Officer Lee says Dane told him that he used a shovel to bury Jepsy, but had gotten rid of it after. Lee also said that Dane had familiarity with the area, as he went to high school in Cripple Creek and often visited a friend who still lived in the area.
Jepsy was reported missing in late March, and Colorado Springs sent Officer Mathis to Kallungi's apartment to conduct a welfare check.
After Officer Mathis failed to locate Jepsy on this welfare check, he received Dane's number from the apartment manager they lived at and called him. Dane said his wife left on March 27 due to marital issues, and that he hadn't heard from her since and was not worried about her whereabouts.
Dane also told Mathis that she went to visit a friend named Gina. Police suspect the Gina in question lived in Chicago, who they contacted. When Mathis contacted this Gina, she said that she had not received any contact from Jepsy about a visit and didn't know where she was.
Police executed a search warrant on the apartment on April 4, but they did not find any signs of disturbance, or any women's belongings. When police asked Dane about this, he said he threw Jepsy's belongings in a dumpster after she left.
Days after the search, Dane broke the lease on the apartment, and police said in the hearing that he moved back to California.
On April 16, police executed a search warrant on a car linked to Dane, but did not find any incriminating evidence.
Just over 2 years after Jepsy's disappearance, the arrest affidavit said Dane took a trip back to Colorado Springs because of an illness in his family. On this trip, Dane had lunch with his ex-wife, Alaine Kallungi, where she says he admitted to the murder of Jepsy.
3 days after that conversation, Alaine got in touch with investigators and informed them of the conversation.
Alaine says she was also a victim of domestic violence from Dane on a handful of occasions in their 10 year marriage. It was Alaine that set up the April 3, 2021 phone call, in coordination with police, where Dane discusses the murder and disappearance of Jepsy.
Just over 2 months after the phone call, on June 16, Officer Lee traveled to Albuquerque New Mexico, where Dane was working on an Air Force Base, and arrested him.
Lee in testimony said that Dane did not deny the killings. Lee says Dane agreed to have strangled her, and confirmed that he had seen her suffering.
According to the same testimony, Dane even assisted police in the search for the body of Jepsy. Lee says Dane "tried hard" to point out on a map where he buried her, but the search was ultimately unsuccessful.
Jepsy's body still has not been found.
Kalungi's next date in court will be his arraignment hearing on Tuesday, May 31 at 1:30 P.M.
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