- Associated Press - Monday, January 28, 2019

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A handyman who allegedly used a hammer to fatally beat a client who had fired him has been convicted of murder and other charges.

Nestor Francisco Canela Lopez now faces life in prison when he’s sentenced March 1.

Essex County prosecutors say the 40-year-old Bronx, New York man traveled to Charles Jeffrey’s Newark home in 2015 and beat him with a hammer, screwdriver and wrench. The 64-year-old victim was found in the home’s basement with the ball end of a hammer embedded in his head.

Authorities say Jeffery and his wife had fired Lopez shortly before the murder after jewelry went missing from the house.

Lopez claimed he acted in self-defense. But prosecutors say he showered in the victim’s home, changed clothes and threw out evidence to conceal his actions.

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