A man who operated a Seattle donated-cadaver business and dumped body parts around Arizona was sentenced Monday to more than six years in prison.
A Yavapai County jury found Walter Harold Mitchell III, 61, guilty of 29 felony counts of concealing or abandoning a dead body.
“I take responsibility for what I did,” Mitchell said at his sentencing. “Whatever the court sees fit, I will live or die by. I am sorry.”
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Judge Krista Carman sentenced Mitchell to concurrent 2.5 year prison terms for 24 counts and a concurrent but consecutive 3.75-year term for the other five counts for a total of 6.25 years.
He will be credited for 671 days served since his 2020 arrest. Prosecutors were seeking a prison term of no less than 18 years.
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Prosecutors said Mitchell took body donor parts in dry ice when he moved to Arizona and kept them in a freezer. He told authorities he dumped them in November 2020. He was arrested after selling the freezer and moved to the Phoenix suburb of Scottsdale.
The remains consisted mostly of women and were linked to at least 12 people. Two woodcutters found a human arm and leg on Dec. 26, 2020 and responding county sheriff’s deputies discovered nearly two dozen body parts.
The next day, prosecutors said two hunters came upon two severed heads and that led to the recovery of three other heads.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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