Sonoma man pleads not guilty to killing man found in barrel

A Sonoma man pleaded not guilty in Sonoma County Superior Court Thursday morning to the murder of a Cazadero man whose body was found in a plastic barrel outside of Sonoma City Hall in March.

Christopher McNatt, 40, is charged with murder and personal use of a hammer for the killing of Ronald Gordon Sauvageau, 64, on March 20 in a mobile home at the Acacia Grove Mobile Home Park on state Highway 12 in Sonoma Valley.

A witness reported seeing someone dump a barrel and a couch cushion in front of Sonoma City Hall around 11:50 p.m. on March 20, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.

Sonoma police found a 55-gallon plastic barrel with dried blood on the outside and a blue tarp on top.

Sauvageau’s body was found inside.

McNatt is being held in Sonoma County Jail under no bail.

A preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 17.