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One of two suspects in grisly death of a woman draws a life term

(AP) — A Missouri man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for his role in the death of a woman who authorities said was kept in a cage and dismembered.

James Phelps, 60, entered an Alford plea Friday to first-degree murder, kidnapping and abandonment of a corpse in the death of 33-year-old Cassie Rainwater, The Springfield News-Leader reported. Under an Alford plea, Phelps does not admit guilt but acknowledges enough evidence exists to convict him.

Phelps and Timothy Norton were charged in September 2021 after DNA tests identified the remains found at Phelps’ home near Lebanon as Rainwater, Dallas County officials said at the time.

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