EAGLE, COLORADO – Jeffrey Lumpkin, 32, was convicted by plea and sentenced yesterday in Eagle
County Court on a charge of Weapons Possession by a Prohibited offender, a class 6 felony
punishable by up to eighteen months in the Department of Corrections. Defendant Lumpkin was
sentenced to 90 days in County Jail and four years of supervised probation by Judge Dunkelman.
In the crime, Lumpkin used a former girlfriend, a woman who stands convicted in this crime as a
“straw purchaser”, who is a buyer making a legal purchase of a gun who then hands the firearm off
to someone else. The purchaser bought the gun at a retail store, then handed the gun, a 9- mm
pistol, off to Lumpkin, at a time when Mr. Lumpkin was on court supervision for a felony and
therefore ineligible to own or purchase a firearm. That same handgun was later used in the
first-degree murder death of Penny Cunningham in Eagle County on Nov. 29, 2013. The murderer had
purchased the firearm from Lumpkin in a private transfer between the time of
the retail purchase and homicide. The murderer was convicted in 2015 and is serving a life
sentence for that crime. The gun was recovered by police during the homicide investigation.
“A straw purchase is a felony because the required purchase background check form asks, “Are you
the actual transferee or buyer of the firearm listed on this form?” A deceptive answer given to
that question constitutes a crime. The straw purchaser here, falsely answered “yes” to that
question because she intended to hand off the gun to Lumpkin.
“Guns in the hands of prohibited persons increase the risks of violent crime occurring, exactly
the situation here, a tragic result,” said District Attorney Bruce Brown.
At yesterday’s sentencing the victim’s brother testified. Victim Penny Cunningham was
remembered as a generous person who was an author of children’s books, a teacher at a
Denver elementary school at the time of her death, and had been a nun.
This investigation was conducted by the District Attorney’s office in conjunction with the Eagle
County Sheriff’s office.
Brown noted that the sentencing marked the end of the criminal processes related to the string
of crimes connected to Ms. Cunningham’s death.
Photo attached: Victim Penelope Cunningham