LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) - A man who pleaded guilty to third-degree murder but then withdrew the plea and went to trial has been convicted of first-degree murder in the drowning death of another homeless man in central Pennsylvania.
The (Lancaster) Sunday News (http://bit.ly/ROv8h9 ) says jurors in Lancaster County returned the verdict Friday afternoon following three days of testimony in the trial of 31-year-old Tyrick Walker of Columbia in the April 2011 death of 40-year-old Mark McLaughlin.
Police in West Hempfield Township alleged that Walker punched McLaughlin at a riverside homeless camp, then dragged the struggling victim into the Susquehanna River and held him underwater.
Walker had faced a maximum 20- to 40-year term after his plea, but now faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole.
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