MAN in a wheelchair was convicted of killing his wife and son with an ax in a plot to extort money from the couple’s business.
The man, identified by the prosecutor as a father of two, was found guilty of first-degree murder and robbery in the June 3, 2016, attack in the small town of Eureka Springs, according to court documents.
Prosecutors said the man had a long history of mental illness and that his mental state deteriorated in recent years, when he had trouble paying child support.
In the months before the attack, he was seen at the Eureki Springs church and had difficulty meeting with his family, the documents said.
“This defendant had the means to rob the family’s business, but instead of doing so he instead committed the act of killing,” Assistant District Attorney Patrick Seddon said.
He was found not guilty on a charge of first degree murder and on a separate charge of robbery with a firearm.
He could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors said they believe the couple was targeted because they were perceived as too affluent for the small community and that they had a history of trouble with police.