- Associated Press - Saturday, September 6, 2014

VERNAL, Utah (AP) - A 35-year-old man has been convicted in the January 2013 beating death of his cousin at a Uintah County mobile home they shared.

A jury deliberated for about three hours Friday before finding Jose Eduardo Leiva-Perez guilty of first-degree murder in the death of 39-year-old David Urrutia.

He faces up to life in prison when he’s sentenced Nov. 5 in 8th District Court.

Police say Leiva-Perez first implicated three other people in his cousin’s death, then maintained he killed Urrutia in self-defense after his cousin pulled a gun on him because he was not paying his share of the expenses.

But investigators say there were no signs of a struggle and Urrutia was lying on a bed when he was hit at the home near Fort Duchesne.



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