Court docs: Man accused of putting woman’s body in barrel went to prison for child porn conviction

Middletown Police investigating suspicious death on Yankee Road
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Middletown Police investigating suspicious death on Yankee Road

A Middletown man facing felony charges for allegedly cutting off the fingers and tattoos of a woman then putting her in a barrel served a prison sentence for charges related to child pornography.

William Slaton, 35, was arrested last week after police discovered the woman’s body in a barrel at his home in the 3200 block of Yankee Road. He is charged with gross abuse of a corpse, failure to report a crime or death and tampering with evidence, police said.

In 2011, Slaton was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on eight counts of illegal use of a minor in nudity oriented material or performance and four counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, according to Butler County Clerk of Courts records. Slaton pleaded guilty to six of the felony charges and the remainder of the counts were merged.

Then Butler County Common Pleas Judge Andrew Nastoff sentenced Slaton to seven years in prison for the child pornography charges. He was released from prison in May 2018 and is on supervision through the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for three years.

Middletown police were called around 1 p.m. on June 30 to Slaton’s home to investigate a tip about a dead woman in a barrel on the property. When police knocked on the door and told Slaton about the complaint, he refused to let officers inside. He went back into the house, ran out the back and dumped the barrel over a fence into a neighbor’s yard, Middletown police Maj. Scott Reeve said.

When officers opened the barrel, they found a nude woman’s body.

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During an interview with detectives, Slaton admitted to being in the house with the victim and said after using drugs, he woke up and found her hanging in the basement, according to Middletown Municipal Court documents.

“Mr. (Slaton) stated he then used a sharp object to cut off all the victim’s fingers. He then used a razor knife to cut off all the victim’s tattoos on her body,” according to the complaint written by detective Ken Mynhier.

Slaton said he put the pieces of her body in a sealed bowl and hid the fingers and skin in the basement, according to the complaint. He allowed the woman’s body to lay in the basement for a few days before he placed her in the drum in the backyard.

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A woman who lived in Slaton’s house called a relative to share information about the woman’s death, and that person, who lives out of state, called police.

“There is supposed to be a person who died of an overdose three day ago at (3200 block of) Yankee Road. As far as I know the body is still there that’s what I was told,” the caller told the 911 dispatcher on Tuesday. “She said somebody overdosed a few days ago and somebody put it in a 55-gallon drum in the backyard.”

Bond was set at $210,000 on Wednesday for Slaton. More charges are possible once the autopsy is complete and the case is reviewed by the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office, said Reeve. He is scheduled to be back in court July 8 for a preliminary hearing.

An autopsy has been performed at the Butler County Coroner’s Office, and no information on her identity or cause of death had been released.

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