Trial begins in strangling, dismemberment in Farmington home

William Dhondt charged with murder in girlfriend's death

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William Michael Dhondt was charged with premeditated 1st degree murder in the strangulation death of his girlfriend.

PONTIAC, Mich. ( - A trial for a man accused of strangling and dismembering his girlfriend and hiding her body parts in their suburban Detroit home is expected to last a week.

A jury was seated Monday in Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac for 29-year-old William Dhondt. He's charged with first-degree murder in the death of 29-year-old Kaitlin Hehir.

Defense lawyer Judith Gracey has said Dhondt didn't plan to kill Hehir.

Police in the Detroit suburb of Farmington say Dhondt reported Hehir missing in February 2013. Police took him into custody after they discovered her remains at their home. Investigators have said that Dhondt told them he and Hehir had argued and that the dispute turned physical.

First-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole in Michigan.

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