Trial Date Set: Pursuit of Justice for Murder Victim Intensifies

The trial date for Sean Shannon Finnegan, the 56-year-old man accused of first-degree murder and rape in connection with the torture slaying of a woman in Oak Ridge back in August 2020, has been set for this coming August. Court records indicate that the jury trial is scheduled to take place from August 12th to 23rd in Anderson County Criminal Court, as confirmed by the county Circuit Court Clerk’s office.

Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark is pursuing the death penalty against Finnegan, underscoring the gravity of the charges he faces.

Finnegan, along with 25-year-old Rebecca Dishman, was apprehended on August 6, 2020, in connection with the death of Jennifer Gail Paxton, 36. Paxton had reportedly been residing with Finnegan and Dishman at their shared residence located at 318 E. Fairview Road in Oak Ridge. Both suspects have been held at the Anderson County jail in Clinton since their arrest on charges that include first-degree murder, aggravated rape, aggravated kidnapping, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. Legal documents suggest that the alleged offenses occurred in December 2019. Bail for both Finnegan and Dishman was set at $1 million each.

While Dishman entered a guilty plea to first-degree murder on September 5, 2023, she was sentenced to life imprisonment. As part of her plea agreement, Dishman is obligated to cooperate with the district attorney’s office in its prosecution of Finnegan.

This trial represents a significant milestone in the pursuit of justice for the victim, Jennifer Gail Paxton, and underscores the commitment of law enforcement and legal authorities to hold those responsible for such heinous crimes accountable.

Exterior video of the scene of a homicide that took place on August 5, 2020.

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