Bush speech to focus on sagging economy

President Bush talks with reporters in the White House briefing room, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008. Bush is set to give his State of the Union address on Monday night.

ANDERSON -- A jury convicted a 32-year-old electrician of beating an Upstate couple who sold jewelry and carried around tens of thousands of dollars to death with a hammer, and a judge promptly sentenced him Friday to two life sentences without parole.

Matthew Fullbright testified on his own behalf, proclaiming his innocence and accusing investigators of forging his signature on a confession. His lawyer said there was no physical evidence linking Fullbright to the October 2009 killings of 72-year-old Homer Staton and his 68-year-old wife JoAnn in Anderson County.

But jurors didn't buy the explanation, finding Fullbright guilty of two counts of murder and other charges in just a few hours of deliberations.

The Statons bought and sold jewelry, and sometimes carried as much as $50,000 in cash. Fullbright knew that because he sometimes steered customers to the couple, prosecutors said.

Fullbright used the couple's trust to lure them to a secluded location and then beat them to death with a hammer in their cars, dumping their bodies in a different location, authorities said.