Already charged with murder, two also charged with child rape, sexual exploitation

Sean Finnegan, one of two defendants in a series of gruesome alleged crimes in Oak Ridge some time between December 2019 and August 2020, including murder, sex crimes, and kidnapping, is pictured above in a mugshot from the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office.

Two Oak Ridge defendants who were previously charged with first-degree murder, aggravated rape, and abuse of a corpse in the death of a 36-year-old woman have now been charged with aggravated child rape and especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor, law enforcement officials said Wednesday.

Sean S. Finnegan, 53, and Rebecca E. Dishman, 23, were charged last summer with murder, sex crimes, kidnapping, and abuse of a corpse after Jennifer Gail Paxton, 36, was allegedly tortured, raped, and strangled, and her body was allegedly cut and broken before being stuffed into a freezer in a home on East Fairview Road in Oak Ridge.

The new child rape and sexual exploitation charges followed an investigation by the Oak Ridge Police Department, according to a press release from the office of Seventh Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark in Clinton. Finnegan and Dishman have been indicted by the Anderson County Grand Jury, the press release said.

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DA: No charges will be filed in fatal police shooting

No criminal charges will be filed against three Oak Ridge Police Department officers after a fatal shooting on Briar Road in August, the county’s top prosecutor said Monday.

Seventh Judicial District Attorney General Dave Clark released his report about the police shooting on Monday morning.

The report said that the man who died in the shooting, Fred J. Arcera, 25, was a U.S. Army veteran who had mental health problems and was reported to be suicidal—telling officers to kill him—and he had large butcher knives and had threatened officers, moving toward them with the knives that Saturday night.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation investigated the shooting, which is common after law enforcement officers fatally shoot someone.

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Oak Ridge City Court to re-open today

Oak Ridge City Court was scheduled to resume in-person court proceedings today (Monday, May 11), with some changes because of COVID-19.

The changes, made for health and safety reasons, include:

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Most court proceedings suspended after emergency declared

Most state and local court proceedings have been suspended in Tennessee through the end of the month after a state of emergency was declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The suspension of in-person proceedings in state and local courts applies to municipal, juvenile, general sessions, trial, and appellate courts. It started at the close of business on Friday, March 13, and continues through Tuesday, March 31, according to an order by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

There are exceptions, including proceedings that protect the constitutional rights of criminal defendants such as bond-related hearings and plea agreements for people in jail; proceedings for relief from abuse, including orders of protection; proceedings for emergency child custody orders; Department of Children’s Services emergency matters related to protecting children; and proceedings related to petitions for emergency mental health orders, the emergency protection of elderly or vulnerable people, and the COVID-19 public health emergency.

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