Murder conviction in Wyoming crawl-space body case

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RIVERTON, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming jury has convicted a man of first-degree murder for beating another man unconscious and putting him in a crawl space, where he died.

Prosecutors say James Oldman unplugged a freezer to cause meat to spoil and try to disguise the scent of the decomposing body.

The jury reached its verdict Friday after a five-day trial. The Riverton Ranger reports Oldman faces up to life in prison when sentenced in March in federal court in Casper.

Oldman and another man, Matthew Whiteplume, had argued over alcohol with 36-year-old Chuck Dodge III at a home in Arapahoe in November.

The two men beat and kicked Dodge. Prosecutors believe Dodge had been dead at least 36 hours before his body was found.

Whiteplume pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

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