CLARKSVILLE, Ark. (AP) - A Johnson County jury has convicted a Dardanelle man of first-degree murder in the beating death of his mother.
The Southwest Times reports that the jury deliberated about 30 minutes Wednesday before convicting 49-year-old Tommy Bowden of beating 71-year-old Julie Richardson to death with a shovel in January.
The jury is to return Thursday for the sentencing phase. Bowden faces either 10 to 40 years or life in prison.
Bowden told police in a taped interview that was played for the jury that his mother was "evil" and had tried to poison him and his step-father.
Public defender Michael Robbins did not argue that Bowden was not guilty - but said the defense will use the sentencing phase to "peel back the layers" of Bowden's actions.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)