Priest Guilty Of First Degree Murder

After approximately one and a half hours of deliberation, a Laclede County jury has found Martin Priest guilty of First Degree Murder today. [Thursday]

Priest is convicted of the murder of 15 year old Tammy Sue Rothganger in Eldon on May 16, 1984.

The trial began on Tuesday with the testimony of Priest’s nephew who said he was with Priest when he killed Rothganger by striking her in the head with a wrench and strangling her, after they both sexually assaulted her.

Priest took the stand and denied the allegations. Priest is already serving a life sentence in Kansas for the murder of William Mayhugh.

In closing arguments the prosecution urged the jury for the 1st degree murder conviction, despite Priest being charged with Capitol Murder.

A sentencing hearing will take place on November 6. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.