Judge schedules preliminary hearing for Timothy Norton in case of Cassidy Rainwater’s death

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 3:43 PM CST
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BUFFALO, Mo. (KY3) - A judge delayed discussion for issuing a bond for one of two men accused in the strangling death of Cassidy Rainwater in Dallas County.

Timothy Norton appeared in court on Tuesday. He scheduled a preliminary hearing for February 2.

The Dallas County prosecutor in mid-November filed first-degree murder charges against Norton and accomplice James Phelps in Rainwater’s death. The prosecutor also charged them with the abandonment of a corpse. They each faced kidnapping charges in Rainwater’s disappearance.

Investigators say Norton admitted Phelps asked him to help kill Rainwater while she was staying at Phelps’ home. Investigators say Norton admitted to holding down Rainwater’s legs while Phelps strangled her. Investigators say they dismembered her body in a bathtub. Investigators found the remains in a freezer. In total, more than 200 pieces of evidence were recovered at the home.

KY3 News first broke the news of the kidnapping of Rainwater in mid-September. FBI investigators contacted detectives in Dallas County saying they received photos from an anonymous person showing Rainwater in a cage. Investigators say a detective recognized Rainwater in a partially nude state. After searching Phelps’ phone, officials discovered seven photos of Rainwater. According to detectives, Rainwater had been staying with Phelps while she got on her feet. Investigators say Phelps claims she had left in the middle of the night at the end of July and he had not seen her since then. Detectives searched the area for several days.

Sheriff Rice says investigators have not located any evidence leading them to believe there are any other victims associated with Phelps and Norton at this time. Sheriff Rice says this is an ongoing investigation. If there is anyone who believes they may have information concerning this case, they can call investigators at the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office at 417-345-2441.

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