Memphis dad guilty in killing, dismemberment

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- A jury has convicted a Memphis man of murder after his three children gave vivid testimony about how he stabbed and strangled their mother and then dismembered her body.

It took less than two hours for the jury to return the verdict Friday against 33-year-old James Hawkins.

His 15-year-old daughter testified that her father had sexually abused her before killing her mother, 28-year-old Charlene Gaither, in 2008. The girl said her father then forced her to help as he cut up the body.

Two sons testified about helping their father buy a saw and dispose of a mattress.

Gaither's headless body was found in Mississippi.

Hawkins didn't testify. He told police his daughter killed Gaither.

The jury next will decide whether to sentence Hawkins to death.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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