- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

WELCH, W.Va. (AP) - A Virginia man accused of killing War Mayor Thomas Hatcher has been convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy.

Earl Click of Grundy, Va., faces life in prison following the McDowell County Circuit Court jury’s verdict. The jury recommended mercy, which means the 27-year-old Click would be eligible for parole after serving 15 years.

Media outlets report that the jury delivered its verdict Wednesday afternoon.

City workers found the 72-year-old mayor’s body in his home on July 17, 2012.

Prosecutors say Hatcher was smothered with a plastic bag. The defense argued that the mayor died of natural causes.

Click’s sister and co-defendant, 32-year-old Rebecca Hatcher, was acquitted of first-degree murder last November. A mistrial was declared on a conspiracy charge and a retrial is scheduled later this month.

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