On Thursday, January 9, 2014, in the Circuit Court of Taney County, PHILLIP LYNN DODD, d/o/b: 11/24/1972, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr to life in the Missouri Department of Corrections, for one count of murder in the second degree.

By his guilty plea, Dodd admitted to the murder of Rebecca Sutton, who was reported missing by her family on March 21, 2003. In February of 2004, Sutton’s skeletal remains were discovered in a remote location in eastern Taney County. Until the spring of 2013, no charges were filed and Sutton’s death was considered a “cold case.” The case had been assigned to the Missouri State Highway Patrol for further investigation.

Dodd had originally been charged with murder in the first degree in March of 2013, but pled guilty on October 31, 2013, to the amended charge of murder in the second degree pursuant to a plea agreement with the Taney County Prosecutor’s Office. Murder in the second degree is a class A felony, which carries a range of punishment from ten (10) years to thirty (30) years or life in the Missouri Department of Corrections. There had been no plea agreement as to what sentence Dodd would receive.