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Woman gets prison for her role in the death and dismemberment of missing Mahoning County resident

Posted at 4:26 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 16:26:54-05

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A Mahoning County woman has been sentenced to spend 18 years behind bars for her involvement in the murder and dismemberment of 28-year-old Shannon Graves in 2017.

According to the Ohio Attorney General's Office, Katrina Layton pleaded guilty to four counts of tampering with evidence, three counts of obstruction of justice and one account of abuse of a corpse.

“Abuse of a corpse is described as an offense that outrages reasonable community sensibilities – and her grotesque actions fit the bill,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said.

Layton's co-defendant, Arturo Novoa, who was Graves' former boyfriend, was previously sentenced to 48 years in prison for Graves' murder and dismemberment, and the subsequent cover-up of the crime, authorities said.

When Novoa pleaded guilty, Yost said Graves' death was, "murder most foul, this is the stuff of nightmares." Yost said that Novoa butchered his victim in an attempt to evade justice.

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Layton and Novoa were arrested in July 2017, after Graves' body was found in a freezer at a home near Youngstown.

At the time of the discovery, Graves was listed as a missing person and had not been seen for months.

After her disappearance, Novoa asked a friend of his to keep a padlocked freezer, authorities said.

According to the Youngstown Prosecutor's Office, Layton moved in with Novoa. The two then used Graves' credit cards, vehicle and cared for her dog.

Novoa's friend later became suspicious and opened the freezer. After finding Graves' remains inside, the friend called the police.

RELATED: Couple arrested after hiding woman's body in freezer while using credit cards, living in her home

The Associated Press contributed to this report.