HOCKING COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — A Hocking County man has been sentenced to 50 years to life in prison for murdering and dismembering a friend in 2020.

Michael Thomas Dixon, 41, of Laurelville, was recently convicted of fatally shooting James T. Whitaker, 56, in July 2020.

Attorney General Dave Yost says Dixon was staying with the victim when Dixon killed and dismembered him. In an attempt to conceal the crime, Yost says Dixon faked a suicide note purportedly written by the victim, then burned the victim’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,” Yost said.

On May 11, 2021, Dixon was found guilty of two counts of murder with firearm specifications, one county of felonious assault with firearm specification, 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.