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Teacher of the Year Arrested for Stabbing Boyfriend Dead: Cops

Dawn Kavanaugh Teacher of the Year

A woman who was recently named teacher of the year was arrested for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend to death in a heated argument. Dawn Bridget Kavanaugh, 42, from North Carolina, was charged for the murder of Robert Ketchum, 43, after police found his body in his driveway last Sunday. The Mooresville teacher was taken into custody after she was called from her home Sunday night.

Robert Ketchum Stabbed

Ketchum was rushed to the hospital and then transferred to a larger medical facility, where he died, according to the Charlotte Observer. A neighbor, Matt Niemec, was the first to find the body and called 911 when no one else would help the victim, who was drunk at the time. Niemec said:

He was lying in his driveway, partially on the ground, on the driveway. There were four people standing around him. He had blood all over his sweatshirt. Kept saying he was stabbed and call the police.

Dawn Kavanaugh taught sixth grade social studies at Lakeshore Middle school, where she received a Teacher of the Year Award in May 2012 and was nominated again for the 2012-2013 school year. The teacher had been working at the school for eight years.


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Chris Penley, the principal of the school, sent an email to parents about the tragedy: 

While we are shocked and saddened by this news, we are committed to keeping the lines of communication open with you to ensure our students are impacted as little as possible.

The school said there would be a substitute teacher until a permanent replacement is found. In the meantime, her rattled students were encouraged to see their guidance counselors.

Ketchum had a criminal record, which included robbery, larceny, drug possession and DWI, dating back to 1993.

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