- Associated Press - Friday, April 14, 2017

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) - A homeless man charged in the death of another homeless man whose body was found burning outside an Ohio church last year has pleaded guilty to aggravated murder.

The Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office says 41-year-old Dale Dudas pleaded guilty Friday in the beating death of Leo Hayes. Authorities say the 62-year-old Hayes was found dead Nov. 12 outside a church in Zanesville, about 55 miles (89 kilometers) east of Columbus.

A message seeking comment was left for Dudas’ attorney Friday.

Authorities say an autopsy showed Hayes died before the fire and there was a significant amount of time between his death and the blaze.

An assistant prosecutor said both men had been smoking before the attack and that may have sparked the fire. Police pointed to robbery as a motive.

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