AUGUST 3, 2006 - Posted at 4:47 p.m. CDT
CHARLESTON, MO - A southeast Missouri man accused of beating his fiancee and her son to death is found guilty.
Ruling in a bench trial, the judge found 43-year-old Andre Clark of Charleston guilty of two counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree assault.
Sentencing is scheduled for October 6.
Clark waived his right for a jury trial in exchange for the state dropping or reducing charges in the June 2004 deaths of Lazan Tanette Balentine and her 4-year-old son. It eliminated the possibility of the death penalty.
A second son, age 3 at the time, also was beaten but survived.
Clark was charged in Mississippi County, but New Madrid County Judge Fred Copeland was appointed to hear the case.