Clinton, Tennessee – Today, Rebecca E. Dishman, age 25, entered a guilty plea on charges of First-Degree Murder and two counts of Rape of a Child. She was sentenced to Life in Prison for murder and an additional 50 years to be served at 100% on the two Rape of a Child charges. In addition, as a condition of the plea, Dishman is required to cooperate with the State of Tennessee in its death penalty case against her Co-Defendant Sean S. Finnegan.
Dishman and her Co-Defendant Finnegan were the subject of an investigation by the Oak Ridge Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of investigation. A search warrant was executed at the home they shared at 318 E. Fairview Road in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in August of 2020. Within the home, officers found the frozen body of Jennifer Paxton which had reportedly been stored in a freezer after her murder. A subsequent investigation also resulted in charges against both Finnegan and Dishman for the rape of two children.
In Court today, Senior Judge Don R. Ash, hearing this case on special assignment, set a trial date in August 2024 for the trial of Sean Finnegan. Both Finnegan and Dishman have been and continue to be housed in the Anderson County Detention Facility since the time of their arrest in 2020.
The families of the victims involved in the case were pleased with today’s entry of the plea agreement by Rebecca E. Dishman. Family members of murder victim Jennifer Paxton were present in the courtroom for the entry of the plea.
General Clark would like to thank the Oak Ridge Police Department, Tennessee Bureau of investigation, and the entire staff of the Anderson County District Attorney’s Office for their exceptional work during the investigation of this case and prosecution of the Defendant Rebecca E. Dishman. Assistant District Attorney General Sarah W. Keith represented the State of Tennessee at today’s hearing.
District Attorney General Dave Clark remarked, “I am grateful to the officers and prosecutors who have worked so hard on this case. This is a huge step in achieving justice in this case and for these victims.”