- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. (AP) - A handyman has been convicted of clubbing his employer to death in rural Yamhill County and leaving the naked corpse in a barn.

Judge John Collins delivered the verdict Tuesday in the case of 41-year-old Xavier Wolfgang, who waived a jury trial, The Yamhill Valley News-Register (http://bit.ly/1e3tCzO) reported.

Wolfgang was accused of murder and other charges, including abuse of a corpse, in the death of 77-year-old Walter Adelman of Tigard.

Investigators said Adelman was refurbishing property near Sheridan and in April 2012 awoke Wolfgang to confront him about an uncompleted task.

They alleged that Wolfgang beat Adelman with a piece of wood. No weapon was found.

Prosecutors described Adelman as having heart and other health problems, hobbling as a result of hip replacement surgery.

Investigators said Wolfgang walked them through the killing, but his defense lawyer said the confession was a result of confusion and coercion.

Collins took less than two hours to reach a verdict.

“There is no charge more serious than murder,” he said. “I reached this verdict with great care and detail.”

Wolfgang was led from the courtroom in handcuffs. Sentencing is scheduled Thursday. The minimum term is 25 years.

Wolfgang was convicted of forgery and theft in California in 1996, and a judge issued arrest warrants for him in November 2010 for violating the terms of his probation.

In 2012, Adelman placed a Craigslist ad for a caretaker and handyman, and Wolfgang responded. Wolfgang moved onto the property in March 2012, according to testimony.

Investigators videotaped Wolfgang’s description of the killing, but at trial he said that Adelman disappeared after men arrived at the property in a car.

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Information from: News-Register, http://www.newsregister.com