Court Upholds Conviction in 1986 Sharp County Slayings - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Little Rock, AR

Court Upholds Conviction in 1986 Sharp County Slayings

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld the capital murder convictions of a Florida man on death row for the 1986 New Year's Eve slayings of an Ash Flat couple. Steven Wertz was convicted last year in the shooting deaths of Terry and Kathy Watts, who were found dead at their home.

Police say the couple were killed in front of their infant son as the result of a custody dispute involving the 5-year-old daughter of Terry Watts. At the time, Wertz was married to the girl's mother, and they were living at Cushing, Oklahoma.

Justices rejected Wertz's arguments that the evidence did not back up a co-defendant's testimony during Wertz's trial. The court also said that evidence showed Wertz knew that the Watts' infant son was in the house when his parents were killed.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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