S. Illinois man guilty of 1st-degree murder in beating death

EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A jury has convicted a man of first-degree murder in connection in the beating death of a man whose body was found in a southwestern Illinois state park.

The Madison County jury convicted 43-year-old Scottie Thompson of Centreville Thursday in the August 2013 slaying of 20-year-old Dakota Jones of Cahokia.

Authorities say Thompson was on parole for a 1989 murder conviction when he beat Jones with a blunt object. Three fishermen found Jones’ body in the water near a boat launch ramp at Horseshoe Lake State Park.

Defense attorney Mary Copeland sought a conviction on a charge of second-degree murder, arguing Thompson beat Jones because he feared for his life.

Thompson faces a sentence of 20-60 years. He will be sentenced in six to eight weeks.

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