Butler County Common Pleas Judge Keith Spaeth set the bond at Slaton’s arraignment Thursday. He is scheduled to be back in court on Nov. 5 for a pretrial hearing.
William Slaton MIDDLETOWN DIVISION OF POLICE
The Butler County Coroner’s Office had not released Cornett’s manner and cause of death as of Wednesday. The condition of the body likely made forensic testing difficult.
Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said he does not need that coroner’s ruling to move forward with the case.
"I can string evidence together to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to how she died or I wouldn’t be taking a case to a jury. Obviously cutting fingers off, surgically removing tattoos, stuffing somebody in a barrel, throwing it over the fence when police arrive at the door and other statements to police all can yield circumstantial and direct evidence beyond what a coroner may say.”
Middletown police were called to Slaton’s home on June 30 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 of 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.
During an interview with detectives, Slaton admitted to being in the house with the victim and said that after using drugs, he woke up and found her hanging in the basement, according to Middletown Municipal Court documents. He told police he used a knife to cut off her fingers and tattoos