MURPHYSBORO — The sentencing for James Deese, the De Soto man who pleaded guilty last year to the murder and dismemberment of another De Soto man, again was postponed.
Assistant Jackson County Public Defender Thomas Moyer presented a motion to Judge Ralph Bloodworth Friday asking for a continuance of the sentencing. Moyer said Deese, who pleaded guilty this past July to first-degree murder in the death of Frank Stonemark, 76, and the concealment of his body, has agreed to testify in July against his alleged accomplice, Carmen Stonemark.
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Moyer asked for a delay in sentencing until after the trial — this would give the court the ability to evaluate his cooperation.
With no objection from the state, Bloodworth granted the motion.
Court records allege that Carmen Stonemark colluded with Deese to murder her husband, Frank Stonemark. As previously reported in The Southern, Deese told investigators he strangled Frank Stonemark and, with the help of Carmen Stonemark, transported the body to a rural area where the two later returned to dismember Frank Stonemark’s body with a chainsaw, maul, pruning saw and a pocket knife.
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A previous story also reported that the two went back to De Soto and burned the body parts and trash bags, Deese told officers.
Court documents say, based on interviews with Deese, investigators were able to find Stonemark's body, and after a search warrant found blood stains in the van the two allegedly used in the course of the crime.