Murder charge filed in California body-in-barrel case

AP News
Posted: Mar 26, 2015 3:37 PM

SONOMA, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a 40-year-old California man used a hammer to kill another man, stuffed his body inside a plastic barrel and dumped it in front of this town's city hall.

Prosecutors charged Christopher McNatt on Tuesday with murder with the special allegation of using a hammer in the slaying of 64-year-old Ronald Sauvageau. The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reports ( that McNatt appeared in court, but he did not enter a plea.

McNatt was due back in court on Thursday.

The blood-stained barrel was covered with a plastic tarp when it was discarded in front of Sonoma's city hall late Friday in California wine country. McNatt was arrested the next day.

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Sheriff's officials have not disclosed a possible motive or what, if any, relationship McNatt and Sauvageau had.