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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri jury has convicted a man of playing a role in the 2011 killing of a man whose burned body was found near a trash bin in neighboring Illinois.

A St. Louis County jury deliberated about three hours Wednesday before finding 41-year-old Ernest Smith guilty of second-degree murder and armed criminal action. A co-defendant, 19-year-old Marquan Prete, has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial.

Authorities allege Smith lured 30-year-old Christopher Scott of Normandy to his house after suspecting him in a previous break-in. After an argument, investigators believe Prete tackled Scott and held him down before Smith shot him twice.

Scott's burned body was later found dumped in Madison, Ill.

Prete's attorney has acknowledged his client was present during the killing but says he took no part in it.
Published in Local News

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