Correctional Officer Sean Dowis Sentenced to 45 Years for the Murder of Deena Zimmerman

Press Release

The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on May 17, 2019, Sean Dowis, a former correctional officer, pled as charged to the crime of Second Degree Murder and was sentenced by Circuit Judge Timothy Register to 45 years in prison.

An investigation conducted by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Deena Zimmerman was employed as a nurse at GEO, a privately operated prison in Graceville. When she failed to show for work on Memorial Day in 2018, Deena’s supervisor called her mother to inquire about Deena’s absence. This led to a missing person investigation that quickly turned into a murder investigation. Two days later, Deena’s body was recovered from a gravesite in a remote area of Sunny Hills. Dowis was Deena’s boyfriend and originally denied any knowledge of Deena’s whereabouts, but during a recorded interview with Sheriff Kevin Crews, Dowis made several incriminating statements that led to his arrest. The case was prosecuted by Chief Assistant State Attorney Larry Basford.

For additional information, contact Chief Assistant State Attorney Larry Basford.