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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Second Missouri man sentenced to life for death of woman who was caged, dismembered

A Dallas County, Missouri, judge sentenced a second man to life in prison after pleading guilty to the first-degree murder of Cassidy Rainwater, whose remains were found in a home after she was photographed while partially clothed in a cage.

Timothy Norton was sentenced Tuesday, and as part of his plea deal, charges of abandonment of a corpse and kidnapping were dropped.

A second man, James Phelps, entered an Alford plea in April, acknowledging there was enough evidence to convict him of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and abandonment of a corpse, without admitting guilt.

Both men were accused of killing Rainwater, 33, in September 2021 after DNA analysis of the remains found at Phelps’ home identified her as the victim.

Digital evidence recovered during the investigation showed Phelps and Norton planned Rainwater’s death, the Sheriff’s Office said.

A woman who first reported Rainwater missing on Aug. 25, 2021, told law enforcement officials Rainwater was last seen with Phelps in July 2021.

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The two men then took Rainwater’s dead body outside, hung her from the gantry crane and dismembered her body, Norton allegedly told investigators.

After Tuesday’s sentencing, Norton told local station KYTV he deserved to die. He also reportedly said he and Phelps believed Rainwater stole items from them, and they wanted their items back. Then, things went “sideways” at Phelps’ home, he added.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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