BUFFALO, Mo. — A second man has been sentenced to life in prison for the death of a woman who was kept in a cage and dismembered in southwest Missouri in 2021.
Timothy Norton was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty in Dallas County court to first-degree murder in the death of 33-year-old Cassie Rainwater. As part of his plea agreement, charges of kidnapping and abandonment of a corpse were dropped.
Another man, James Phelps, entered an Alford plea earlier this year in the same case and was also sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.
The two men were arrested in September 2021 after the FBI received a tip about photos showing Rainwater in a cage on Phelps’ property near Lebanon, Missouri. Additional photos showed Rainwater dismembered and disemboweled. Some of her remains were found in a deep freezer, authorities said.
Norton told KYTV after his sentencing that he deserved to die. He said he and Phelps believed Rainwater had stolen from them and wanted their items back, and things went “sideways” at Phelps’ home.
Rainwater was reported missing in August 2021 by a woman who said she was last seen with Phelps. Phelps told investigators that Rainwater was staying with him, but she had left for Colorado, according to court records.
Phelps’ house later burned to the ground in what investigators determined was arson.