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 southwestern 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 deal, the kidnapping and abandonment of a dead body charges were dropped.
Another man, James Phelps, entered into an Alford statement earlier this year in the same case and was also sentenced to life in prison without the 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 freezer, authorities said.
Norton told KYTV after his sentence 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 the 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 gone to Colorado, according to court records.
Phelps’ house later burned to the ground in what investigators determined was arson.