Witness: Dismemberment tools used as haunted house props - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Witness: Dismemberment tools used as haunted house props

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Ashley Greenhill (Source: Colbert Co. Sheriff's Dept.) Ashley Greenhill (Source: Colbert Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
Matthew Fox Matthew Fox
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COLBERT COUNTY, AL (WAFF) -

A jury heard testimony in the Ronald Weems murder trial Wednesday.

Weems is accused of using a nylon strap to kill Amanda Taylor and then dismembering her body in 2011.

A forensic biologist who matched DNA from the remains with Amanda's family testified as well as the Muscle Shoals Police investigator in charge of collecting and preserving evidence.

Ashley Greenhill took the stand and testified for nearly two hours. Greenhill was one of the three suspects accused of helping Weems dispose of Taylor's body. Matthew Fox and Laurel Pruett are also accused of helping dispose of the body.

Greenhill testified Weems asked her to help him hide a body and that he killed Amanda Taylor, telling jurors, "I didn't want to get involved, I didn't want to believe he killed her."

Greenhill said she was the one who called Matthew Fox to help dispose of the body, saying he had a "bad boy rep" and heard he was a "cleaner." She also testified that both she and Fox suggested calling the police but that Weems said, "It's too late."

When asked why she helped lead police to Taylor's remains, Greenhill testified it was because she was afraid Weems would kill her if she didn't.

Later Wednesday afternoon, Matthew Fox testified that he helped dismember Taylor's body. He said tools used in her dismemberment were later found at the haunted house where he volunteered, Arx Mortis.

Greenhill pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and abuse of a corpse and could face up to life in prison, waiving her right to probation for her plea.

Greenhill was on probation for theft of property and child abuse at time of crime. She is currently in the Lawrence County Jail.

Matthew Fox took the stand and told the jury he didn't know Weems or Pruett prior to the crime, only Ashley Greenhill.

Fox testified he heard the rumors about him being a "cleaner" and "bad boy" but never dispelled them, and he said he learned what to do with a dead body from reading articles and from a criminal justice class he took.

He said Weems used bleach to clean the tools used and also the basement area. He also said those tools were later used as props at a haunted house he worked at, Arx Mortis in Killen.

When asked why he didn't tell police, Fox said he was scared Weems was going to kill him too.

Laurel Pruett testified her relationship with Weems was romantic for seven years. She is the mother of one of his kids.

Pruett said Weems told her he killed Taylor with a nylon strap. She admitted to telling him to come to the police department with her to file a report.

Weems and Pruett were talking with investigators about a fake account Amanda Taylor opened in Laurel Pruett's name. After that, Weems filed a police report against Taylor saying she attacked him and ran off.

Pruett said she went down to the basement and saw Taylor's body, and she confessed to watching Weems and Fox dismember the body.

On the stand, Pruett read a jailhouse letter sent to her from Weems. In that letter, Weems accuses Ashley Greenhill of killing Taylor, saying it had to do with witchcraft.

All three suspects who testified, Greenhill, Fox, and Pruett, pleaded guilty to original charges of hindering prosecution and to abuse of a corpse. Each count comes with a 10 year sentence.

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