DALLAS COUNTY, Mo. — James Phelps, one of the two men accused of kidnapping and killing Cassidy Rainwater will have a preliminary hearing on February 4, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. The date was set December 10, 2021, as Phelps appeared in court via video conference.

James Phelps and Timothy Norton are charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and abandonment of a corpse. Norton will appear in court next for a motions hearing on December 12. Norton’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for February 2, 2022. Timothy Norton has pleaded not guilty.

Timothy Norton is one of the men charged in the death of Cassidy Rainwater
Timothy Norton

Norton’s defense attorney Brandon Twibell filed a motion on December 6th to withdraw from the case. Thomas Kirsch, a defense attorney based in Jefferson City, is now listed as the primary defense attorney for Norton’s case.

Rainwater was reported missing in July. After months of rumors, prosecutors charged Phelps and Norton with murder in her death. They are accused of kidnapping Rainwater, keeping her in a cage, killing her, and dismembering her body.

James Phelps is accused in the death of Cassidy Rainwater
James Phelps

In November, authorities confirmed they found Rainwater’s remains on the property where Phelps was staying. A house on that property burned down in October after Phelps and Norton were arrested and charged with kidnapping.

At a hearing for Phelps in November, prosecutors said Norton confessed he and Phelps would search for potential victims online and at a nearby Walmart.

James Phelps has not entered a plea in the case against him.