Victim identified in gruesome murder in Oak Ridge

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(Courtesy Samantha Kennemore: Jennifer Gail Paxton)

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Saturday, a spokesperson with the city of Oak Ridge has identified the victim in a gruesome murder as 36-year-old Jennifer Gail Paxton.

In the early hours on August 6, Oak Ridge Police SWAT and members with the Judicial Crime Task force executed a search warrant at a residence in the 300 block of East Fairview Road.

During the search, authorities found Paxton’s remains and 52-year-old Sean Finnegan and 22-year-old Rebecca Dishman were arrested.

According to the warrants, Finnegan and Dishman lured Paxton into the residence with the promise of a place to stay in December 2019.

Once at the home the two held her against her will with restraints, attacked her with a baseball bat, tortured, raped, deprived her of food and medical care, strangled her to death and left her broken body in a stand-up freezer, the warrants said.

Knowing that a police investigation may take place, the couple used cleaning products to remove evidence from the home and the victim’s body. Finnegan also removed the body from the freezer and hid it under a bed while he attempted to clean evidence from the freezer.

Finnegan and Dishman admitted to these facts post-Miranda, arrest warrants show.

Finnegan and Dishman each face charges of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Finnegan faces additional aggravated rape and abuse of a corpse charges. Dishman faces additional aggravated sexual battery and tampering with evidence charges.

Dishman was arraigned Friday by video and appointed an attorney.

Finnegan was arraigned in Anderson County court on Monday. His bond was set at $1 million with a condition that he must wear a GPS ankle bracelet if he is bonded out of custody. A public defender was appointed to represent Finnegan.

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