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Dodd Sentenced to Life for Murder of Rebecca Sutton

FORSYTH, Mo. - A man currently serving time for a robbery conviction has also been sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 30 years, for the second-degree murder of a 19-year-old Hollister woman in 2003.

FORSYTH, Mo. - A man currently serving time for a robbery conviction has also been sentenced to life in prison, with the possibility of parole after 30 years, for the second-degree murder of a 19-year-old Hollister woman in 2003.

The sentence handed down to Philip L. Dodd, 41, is to be served concurrently with the 14-year sentence he is now serving for a robbery conviction, according to Taney County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Merrell.

Dodd was sentenced on Thursday in Taney County Circuit Court by Judge Mark Orr.

The inmate pleaded guilty in October to the 2003 murder of Hollister resident Becky Sutton, who  vanished from her apartment on March 20. Her remains were found in February 2004 under a rock shelf in the forest in eastern Taney County, near Bradleyville.

A probable cause statement filed in the case states that Sutton called a friend of hers to say that a man named Philip had stopped by her apartment on 2nd Street in Hollister.

Sutton told the friend that "Philip" was Sutton's "ex-boyfriend's cousin's husband." Sutton went on to tell the friend that "Philip" attempted to kiss her while she sat on her couch and then later followed her into the kitchen.

She was discovered missing after her two-year-old son was found wandering around the apartment house unsupervised.
Investigators interviewed Dodd three days after Sutton disappeared. Court papers say Dodd actually approached Hollister Police to ask about Sutton's missing person case.

"During this interview, Dodd provided investigators with conflicting information about the events that transcribed [sic] on March 20 and 21, 2003," the documents read.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Investigator Dan Nash talked to Dodd on March 4 and 8, 2013. During the March 8 interview, Dodd told Nash he had not been completely honest in previous interviews. Dodd said he went to Sutton's apartment to use drugs and "attempt to obtain sex."

The documents also say Dodd admitted being present when Sutton died, wrapping up her body in bed sheets, and transporting her body to a wilderness area and putting under a rock outcropping.

The crime was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Hollister Police Department, and the Taney County Sheriff's Department.

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