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.