- Associated Press - Thursday, July 10, 2014

PAULS VALLEY, Okla. (AP) - An Elmore City man was convicted Thursday of killing another man, then cutting up the body and stuffing the remains in cement-filled buckets that were dumped into a pond, according to Garvin County officials.

The county court clerk’s office said a jury found Justin Hammer, 32, guilty of first-degree murder in the August 2012 death of Brandon Duran and recommended a sentence of life in prison without parole.

Sentencing was set for Oct. 6, according to the clerk’s office.

Hammer testified during the trial that he shot Duran twice in self-defense after Duran forced his way into Hammer’s home and made threats toward Hammer’s family because of Hammer’s relationship with Duran’s ex-wife.

Hammer said he also feared Duran because he thought he was a member of a motorcycle gang. Duran’s mother testified that her son was not a member of any gang.

Prosecutors said there was no evidence the door to Hammer’s home had been forced open.

A defense attorney did not immediately return a phone call to The Associated Press seeking comment but told KOKH-TV that an appeal of the verdict is planned. Hammer declined comment as he left the courtroom, the station reported.

Duran’s body was found in the cement-filled buckets in a pond near Hammer’s house on Aug. 9, 2012.

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