Sean Finnegan & Rebecca Dishman Oak Ridge, Tennessee couple charged in the torturing, raping, killing and mutilation of corpse of Jennifer Gail Paxton. Boyfriend faced charges of aggravated rape and especially aggravated kidnapping in 2015- but was let free.
A Tennessee couple who allegedly promised a woman a place to stay tortured, raped and strangled her before storing her mutilated body in a freezer, police said.
Sean Finnegan, 52, and girlfriend Rebecca Dishman, 22, were arrested Thursday at their Oak Ridge home after a search warrant was executed there following suspicions of a homicide where the remains of 36-year-old Jennifer Gail Paxton were found, WATE reports.
The couple lured Paxton, 36, into their residence by offering her a place to stay in December. It remained unclear how Paxton came to accept the couple’s offer, whether because she was homeless or seeking respite.
Upon being let into the home, police said the unwitting woman was held against her will and beaten with a baseball bat. She was also restrained with a dog collar, chained to a bed and had her arms bound with zip ties, according to court documents.
Paxton was also repeatedly raped, as well as being denied food and medical care, before she was strangled and left to die in a freezer, WVLT reports. It remained unclear when exactly the woman was killed after arriving at Finnegan & Dishman’s home.
Desecration of victim’s corpse
But there’s more.
Once Paxton was dead, Finnegan ‘physically mistreated [Paxton’s corpse] in such a way as to be shocking and offensive’ by mutilating her body with a sharp instrument, cutting off a portion of at least one of her breasts and her nose, court documents show.
He also broke several of Paxton’s ligaments and bones to fit Paxton’s body in a stand-up freezer, where he kept the woman’s frozen corpse before removing it and hiding it beneath his bed, investigators said.
Finnegan and Dishman, who are facing charges of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence, both admitted to the allegations following their arrest, according to warrants cited by WATE.
Finnegan is also charged with aggravated rape while Dishman faces separate charges of aggravated sexual battery and tampering with evidence.
Their bonds were both set at $1 million and they are scheduled to appear in court on August 18.
Finnegan, who was also charged with aggravated rape, was arraigned Friday. A judge set his bail at $1 million. Of note, Records show in January 2015 Finnegan faced charges of aggravated rape and especially aggravated kidnapping in Blount County.
‘Nobody in the world deserves what happened to her.’
Bond was also set at $1 million for Dishman. Both she and Finnegan are due back in court Aug. 18, Oak Ridge Today reports.
Oak Ridge police responded to the couple’s home after getting a report of a homicide there. Paxton’s body was found early Thursday as a search warrant was executed.
Dishman had used bleach and other cleaning products to remove blood and bodily fluids from a living room and bedroom floor, as well as in a bathroom shower, where she tried to scrub Paxton’s body of evidence, warrants show.
An online fundraiser set up to offset Paxton’s funeral costs had to date raised $1,365 of a $5,000 goal.
‘Jennifer was brutally murdered, and tortured at such a young age,’ the fundraiser reads. ‘Nobody in the world deserves what happened to her. Her mother is not in any shape to pay for it all. Please find it in your hearts to help this beautiful woman and her family give her the send-off she deserves.’