A 71-year-old woman’s body was found in a freezer in West Virginia and now her drunk roommate will spend the next 40 years in prison after being sentenced for murdering and mutilating her body, according to authorities.
In August 2022, the body of Cynthia Mudd was found in a freezer in the backyard of her home in Cross Lanes, WCHS-TV reported.
Authorities said her body was only found because someone noticed her dog was acting concerned around the area where the freezer was located.
Bryan Escue, the attorney for 44-year-old Samuel May, said his client admitted to going out drinking with Arnold Hiller, who also lived in the home, in August 2022.
May claimed when he woke up the next morning, Mudd was laying on the floor with bruises, WCHS-TV reported.
When talking about what May did when he found Mudd, Escue said, "I think my client showed some grave stupidity, idiotic decision making, but it also showed he did not know what had happened and he was in survival mode," according to WCHS-TV.
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"Instead of calling police, he tried to facilitate putting her in the bed, hoping she would get better," Escue said. "He made the other idiotic decision, him and Mr. Hillard, to conceal the body."
Mudd and May were not in any sort of romantic relationship, but May moved in with Mudd around 10 years ago and Escue said they were “close, close friends” and May helped take care of Mudd.
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During the sentencing, Mudd’s daughter spoke to the court, "His actions sober were just as repulsive, if not worse, than his drunken behavior. Samuel May was very coherent when he mutilated my mother's dead body and he buried her away in a junk freezer, basically so he could continue spending her money and enjoying his life."
May pleaded guilty to second-degree murder as part of an agreement that saw eight other charges, including concealment of a dead body and fraud to be dismissed, officials said.
Judge Jennifer Bailey sentenced him to the maximum 40 year sentence for the second-degree charge.
In June, Hiller was sentenced to one to five years in prison for his role in the crime after pleading guilty to concealing Mudd’s body, authorities said.
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