KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A criminal court jury in Knoxville has convicted a homeless man in the death of a man who had let the suspect and his girlfriend stay with him.
The guilty verdict on charges of first-degree murder and especially aggravated kidnapping came Wednesday against 29-year-old Joseph Egan Underwood.
The Knoxville News Sentinel reported the verdict allowed Judge Bob McGee to sentence Underwood to an automatic life prison sentence.
Prosecutors said Underwood severely beat 52-year-old Richard Lucas, who was also stabbed, bound and stuffed alive into a plastic storage bin, where he suffocated and bled to death.
Underwood's girlfriend, Kimberly Anne Sutton, will be tried separately.