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Hocking County man sentenced to 50 years in prison for murder, dismemberment of friend

Michael Dixon murder, felonious assault, tampering with evidence, gross abuse of a corpse and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

A Hocking County man convicted of murdering and then dismembering a friend he was staying with last summer was sentenced to upwards of 50 years in prison on Wednesday. 

Michael Dixon, 41, was found guilty of two counts of murder, one count of felonious assault, seven counts of tampering with evidence, one count of gross abuse of a corpse, and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity in May for the murder of 56-year-old James T. Whitaker. 

The Hocking County Sheriff’s Office received a report that Whitaker was missing from the South Bloomingville area on July 25, 2020. 

Authorities said Dixon admitted during an interview that he killed Whitaker and tried hiding his body and other evidence on Whitaker's property. 

An investigation found Dixon fatally shot Whitaker and then faked a suicide note, dismembered and burned Whitaker’s body. 

“By murdering and then dismembering his victim in an attempt to evade authorities, this defendant showed a complete disregard for life – it’s fitting that he will now spend the rest of his miserable life in prison,” said Attorney General Dave Yost.

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