SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Jurors have convicted a former North Dakota college student in the killing of a drug dealer’s father in Salem, Oregon.
The Statesman Journal reports 24-year-old Denzel Hawthorne was found guilty of murder, but not guilty of aggravated murder on Monday. Sentencing has been scheduled for May 16.
Attorneys representing Hawthorne argued that their client wasn’t capable of murderous intent. They said he has an intellectual disability that was exacerbated by blows to the head he received while playing football in high school and at Trinity Bible College in Ellendale, North Dakota.
The day before the August 2016 shooting, Hawthorne and a college teammate drove to Salem from North Dakota to collect on a drug debt. The dealer wasn’t home, and a struggle with the man’s father ensued.
The teammate, Eloy Carrera, pleaded guilty to murder in February and was sentenced to at least 25 years in prison.