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Crime News Family Crimes

Woman Gets 15 Years for Killing Husband, Then Calling on Daughter's Boyfriend To Dismember the Body

Bonnie Marie Vaughan pleaded guilty to murder, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse in the September shooting death of her husband, Jeffrey Fellman.

By Christina Coulter
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

An Ohio woman was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison last week for gunning down her husband and then calling on her daughter's boyfriend to help dismember his body.

Bonnie Marie Vaughan, 59, pleaded guilty May 4 to murder, tampering with evidence and gross abuse of a corpse, according to a press release from the Warren County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.  

In exchange for her guilty plea, prosecutors dropped charges for aggravated murder with a firearm and two counts of felonious assault with a firearm, according to Law and Crime.

RELATED: Utah Woman Arrested In Husband's Murder After Writing Children's Book About Grief

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell previously argued that the Sept. 19 killing 55-year-old husband Jeffrey Fellman was "of prior calculation and design," according to reporting by the Butler County Journal-News. But Vaughan's attorney argued that she acted in self-defense.

Bonnie Vaughan John Havens Pd

In court, Middletown Detective Brook McDonald testified in a preliminary hearing that during questioning, Vaughan told officers that she "got frightened and shot him" during an argument in which Fellman allegedly threw a chair and grabbed her by the arm.

“It appeared his body had been moved because (Vaughan) said when he was shot he was by the refrigerator, but when we found him he was in trash bags,” McDonald said, per the Journal-News. The detective also relayed to the court that Vaughan claimed the man had choked her several nights prior in the parking lot of a local bar. 

Middletown Police Major Eric Crank previously said the department had previously received numerous domestic disturbance calls to the home, according Law and Crime

After shooting Fellman, prosecutors said, Vaughn picked up 34-year-old John Thomas Havens and asked him to cut apart the body, according to documents reviewed by CBS affiliate WKRC. Havens in a relationship with Fellman's daughter at the time. 

He obliged Vaughan's request using a handsaw from her garage, per court documents. Although Havens reported Fellman's murder to police that same day, according to reporting by Law and Crime, he was still charged last October with gross abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. He pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 11. 

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