Warning: disturbing content
A Florida woman will now spend the rest of her life behind bars after she pled guilty to several charges, including murder, in the death and dismemberment of her live-in boyfriend.
In the summer of 2018, Penny Rebecca Pospisil, then 47, was living in a camper with her boyfriend, 55-year-old Anthony Franklin Mitchell, at an RV park in Lake Panasoffkee, Florida, about 20 miles southwest of The Villages. Then, on or around August 23 of that year, Pospisil murdered Mitchell, who was physically disabled, and dismembered his body. She then drove two hours away to live in an RV park in Melbourne, Florida, where neighbors soon complained about the smell emanating from her residence.
Police arrested Pospisil in late December 2018 after they conducted a wellness check at her camper and discovered Mitchell’s remains which, by that time, were badly decomposed. Mitchell’s family stated that they had not heard from him since August 22, 2018.
According to reports, Mitchell died of blunt force trauma and strangulation, though Pospisil initially told people that he had died of natural causes and that she had had him cremated. When police didn’t buy that assertion, she alleged that Mitchell had abused her and that she had killed him in self-defense, though why she would have dismembered his corpse is unclear.
In October 2022, she pled guilty to second-degree murder and abuse of a dead human body as well as grand theft of more than $300 but less than $20,000 since she had stolen Mitchell’s credit cards and began collecting his Social Security benefits after his death.
In preparation for sentencing, prosecutors painted an ugly picture of Pospisil’s heinous crime. “Notably absent from the crime scene was his heart and other internal organs,” they wrote in a sentencing memo, adding that the victim’s “genitals were severed from his decaying body as well.”
The postmortem desecration of Mitchell’s body was so vicious that “he was unrecognizable,” prosecutors said. They also stated that Pospisil then had to continue to abuse Mitchell’s dead body with “tools and chemicals” in order to try and “conceal” it from others.
On Friday, Sumter County Circuit Court Judge Mary P. Hatcher issued Pospisil, now 51, the maximum sentence: life in prison for the murder and then consecutive sentences of 15 years for abusing a corpse and five years for grand theft.
It is unclear why adjudicating the case took four years.
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