- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) - A man accused in the deaths of his two young children was convicted of capital murder on Wednesday.

John DeBlase was convicted after a 10-day trial. DeBlase and his common-law wife Heather Keaton have each blamed each other for the deaths of DeBlase’s 4-year-old daughter Natalie and his 3-year-old son Chase.

Keaton has also been charged in the children’s deaths and is expected to go to trial in March. During DeBlase’s trial, prosecutors said Keaton used duct tape to confine the children before they were killed.

DeBlase’s attorneys argued that Keaton’s harsh discipline tactics lead to the children’s deaths, but prosecutors said DeBlase likely killed the children to end their suffering. DeBlase’s defense attorney Glenn Davidson accused Keaton of being jealous of the attention that DeBlase paid to his children.

The children’s bodies were buried near Citronelle, Alabama and Vancleave, Mississippi. Authorities have said the man’s daughter was killed in early March of 2010 and the young boy was killed in June 2010.



Local media outlets reported that 31-year-old DeBlase showed little emotion as the jury’s verdict was read.

DeBlase faces either life in prison or the death penalty and is likely to be sentenced Thursday or Friday.

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