- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 4, 2021

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Jurors in West Virginia on Tuesday recommended a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a man convicted of killing a 77-year-old woman and injuring a police officer with a weapon described as an “antique iron.”

The Kanawha County jury found Joshua Drennen, 28, guilty Monday on eight charges, including murder and attempted murder in the February 2020 slaying of Barbara Steele and the attack on a Charleston police officer, news outlets reported.

Authorities alleged Drennen killed Steele at her home and then committed a carjacking and attacked a responding officer on the same day. The officer shot and wounded Drennen during the attack, police have said.

Steele died of blunt force trauma to the head, according to police.

Drennen’s attorney contended his client suffered from “delusions” and argued the crimes were a result of mental illness and drug use, according to court testimony.

A sentencing hearing was set for next month.

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