Supreme Court upholds Memphis dismemberment case

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence a man received for killing the mother of his three children and dismembering her body in Memphis in 2008.

Court documents say James Hawkins stabbed the woman in front of their 12-year-old daughter in their apartment and threatened to kill the girl if she didn’t help him clean the scene and dispose the body.

They put the body of Charlene Gaither in a freezer and moved her into a bathtub where Hawkins sawed off her head, hands and feet. The body was thrown into the Mississippi River. The woman’s head, hands and feet were never recovered.

Evidence showed that Hawkins killed the woman because she was threatening to tell police that he was sexually abusing the daughter.