HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A man has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for dismembering his girlfriend with a chain saw and dumping her body parts in bags and boxes behind a Target store in Alabama. William Lewis Paton was convicted of corpse abuse after charges of murder were dropped for lack of evidence.
Payton denies killing or dismembering 27-year-old Tonya Lynn Amerson, the mother of two of his eight children.
According to a report in AL.com/The Birmingham News, the cause of her death in 2015 couldn't be determined. "We still don't know exactly what happened to Tonya," Madison County Prosecutor Joshua Ballinger said.
Ballinger said at Monday's sentencing that 44-year-old Paton's actions showed "a level of depravity you see in a horror movie."
Payton's mother called him "a good kid." He still faces trial on abuse and sodomy charges involving a child younger than 12.