- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 10, 2015

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A man accused of killing another man whose dismembered body was found in a ravine north of Omaha has pleaded no contest to manslaughter under a deal with prosecutors.

John Moniz, 36, also pleaded no contest on Monday to being a habitual criminal. He faces 10 to 60 years in prison when he’s sentenced in April. Prosecutors reduced the original charge of first-degree murder in exchange for Moniz’s pleas.

Prosecutors said Moniz killed Delbert Freemont Jr., 52, at Freemont’s Omaha home, likely after a fight turned deadly. Freemont had complained to relatives that he didn’t want Moniz dating his daughter or living at Freemont’s house.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said Monday that the plea bargain was necessary in part because prosecutors couldn’t prove how Freemont died.

Freemont’s remains were found on Dec. 9, 2013, when a dog took one of Freemont’s arms to a farmer. The rest of the remains were found just north of the Douglas County-Washington County line.

A friend of Moniz’s reported that Moniz borrowed his reciprocating saw and said he believed Moniz was going to use it to work on a car. But prosecutors said Moniz used the saw to cut up Freemont’s body.

Spatters of Freemont’s blood were found on the ceiling and walls of his house, but a forensic expert couldn’t prove that Freemont had been strangled before being cut up.


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