Memphis man charged with murdering, dismembering woman - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis man charged with murdering, dismembering woman

James Hawkins (courtesy Shelby-Sheriff.org) James Hawkins (courtesy Shelby-Sheriff.org)

Police have charged a Memphis man with killing and dismembering a woman whose body was found last week in northern Mississippi.

James Hawkins, 30, was charged Monday with first degree murder, abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, and filing a false report.

Also Monday, officials said a DNA test positively identified the victim as Charlene Gaither, 30, of Memphis.

Gaither's body, without a head, hands, or feet, was found Thursday in DeSoto County.

According to court documents, Hawkins denied killing Gaither in an interview with detectives Saturday, but admitted that after she died, he cut off her hands, feet, and head.

After he dismembered her, Hawkins said, he took the rest of her body to a secluded area of DeSoto County and dumped it.  Hawkins told investigators he dumped Gaither's severed hands, feet, and head in another secluded area.

Later, police said, Hawkins admitted to killing Gaither.

Ajib Ahmed, a neighbor and acquaintance of Gaither's mother, said she was having a hard time dealing with her daughter's death.

"She was taking it real hard," Ahmed said.  "She was crying, saying that's her baby daughter."

Likewise, members of Gaither's community were outraged.

"That is cold-hearted," Deloris Lucas said. "You can't get any colder."

Hawkins is due to appear in court Tuesday morning. 


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