First degree murder charges filed in Rainwater death
STEVE • SSMITH@LACLEDERECORD.COM
The Dallas County Prosecutor today filed first degree murder charges against James Phelps and Timothy Norton in the death of Cassidy Rainwater.
Phelps and Norton are also charged with abandonment of a corpse. Both had earlier been charged with kidnapping in Rainwater’s disappearance.
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that remains of Cassidy Rainwater had been found in the home and adjacent property of James Phelps.
According to the Sheriff’s Office evidence collected at Phelps’s home included what appeared to be human flesh in the freezer. Skeletal remains believed to be Cassidy were found on an adjacent property. The remains found in the freezer were confirmed to be Rainwater, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Scott Rice said that in an interview with FBI agents Sept. 20, Norton confessed to the murder of Rainwater. Norton told FBI agents that Phelps had him come over while Cassidy was sleeping in the living room floor, so he had easy access to attack Cassidy. Norton told investigators that after entering the house, he held Cassidy’s legs down while Phelps strangled her and placed a bag over her head. Norton said that Norton stated he helped Phelps carry Cassidy’s body into the house and placed her into the bathtub.
“We have not located any evidence that would lead us to believe there are any other victims associated with Phelps and Norton at this time,” Rice said. This is still an ongoing investigation. IAnyone who believes they may information concerning this case can call investigators at the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office at 417-345-2441.