Jury convicts man in football coach shooting death

March 2, 2010 9:14:20 AM PST
A jury has convicted an Iowa man of first-degree murder in the shooting of a nationally known high school football coach. The jury deliberated for 24 hours over four days before reaching its decision Tuesday, finding 24-year-old Mark Becker guilty in the June 24, 2009, killing of Aplington-Parkersburg coach Ed Thomas.

Becker gunned down the 58-year-old Thomas in the school's makeshift weight room in front of students, shooting him at least six times before walking away. Becker told police that Thomas was Satan and that the coach had been tormenting him.

The shooting was especially shocking to Parkersburg residents because Thomas was known both for producing winning teams and for being a leader in the community.