Tuscaloosa man found guilty of murder in 2012 pipe-beating death - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Tuscaloosa man found guilty of murder in 2012 pipe-beating death of elderly man

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TUSCALOOSA - AL -

 It took jurors about two hours to convict Christopher Patton of murder in the July 2012 pipe beating of 79-year-old Kenneth McDaniel.

They also found Patton guilty of criminal trespassing.

Patton didn't testify during the trial but after the verdict, he said outside the courtroom while he was being taken to jail that "It was no evidence in my case and I was still found guilty."

Prosecutors presented a slightly bent metal pipe that say Patton used to beat McDaniel.  "He went there to kill him.  The evidence was that he had done this before, flipping breakers in order to lure people outside.  He lured Mr. McDaniel successfully outside that night and just beat him to death," said lead prosecutor Jonathon Cross.

The victims family did not talk with media following the verdict but they left the courtroom relieved and said family members will release a statement later.

During the trial, the state called surrounding neighbors of the McDaniels, who portrayed Patton as a repeated trespasser who falsely claimed he owned the property of others.

A deputy testified that he spotted Patton near the McDaniels home the night of the killing, but he dropped the murder weapon and ran.  "I don't think we're dealing with a rational person, naturally...I don't think he's cable of remorse.  I don't think he's capable of reason," added Cross.

Patton's public defense attorneys tried to discount most of the state's circumstantial evidence. They pointed out there was no blood or DNA that linked Patton to the killing.

Patton was taken into custody immediately following the announcement of the verdict. Circuit Judge Brad Almond, who presided over the trial, has yet to set a sentencing date.

Prosecutors say they will ask that Patton be sentenced to life in prison.

 

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