Jury convicts: man died stuffed into storage bin

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.

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