Man found guilty in connection with 1984 death


Clyde Hedrick, 61, was found guilty on a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter for his role in the death of Ellen Rae Simpson Beason. That woman's brother told me they've been waiting three decades for justice.

It appeared as if Hedrick avoided eye contact with the jury as prosecutors and defense lawyers presented closing arguments in his murder trial on Friday. The 61-year old man is accused of killing Beason in July 1984, before dumping the woman's body under some garbage on a dirt road.

Hedrick was convicted many years ago on charges of abuse of a corpse. But during this week's trial, the jury heard new evidence from medical experts who determined Beason drowned and suffered from blunt force trauma to the head.

Hedrick's lawyer and family didn't believe the state offered enough evidence to lead to a new conviction in this case. But Beason's family says this verdict brings them one step closer to closure.

The court will move into the punishment phase of this trial Monday morning. Hedrick faces a prison sentence of two to 10 years in this case.

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