Man pleads guilty in woman’s death and hiding body in barrel

Associated Press

MIDDLETOWN — A man charged in the death of a woman he said he used drugs with and whose body he hid in a barrel at an Ohio home pleaded guilty Friday to involuntary manslaughter and other counts.

The pleas came just days before William Slaton, 35, of Middletown, was due to stand trial on murder charges in the death of 21-year-old Cecily Cornett of Somerville. Her remains were found June 30 in the barrel at a residence in Middletown, roughly halfway between Cincinnati and Dayton.

Besides the involuntary manslaughter count, Slaton also pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse. He received a 14-year prison sentence.

Prosecutors have said Slaton denied killing Cornett but offered different statements about how she died. At one point, he said she was killed by a man with whom she had argued with over drugs.

Slaton told detectives that he went to sleep after several hours of partying and using drugs with Cornett and another woman he referred to as the “hippy chick.” He later found Cornett hanging from a water pipe in the basement with a belt around her neck, authorities said.

Slaton said he left Cornett’s body in the basement for multiple days, then he cut off her fingertips and tattoos. He eventually brought the barrel downstairs and put Cornett’s body in it, then took it to an area near a shed at the home.

Associated Press

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