BECKER TRIAL: Jury finds Becker guilty - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

BECKER TRIAL: Jury finds Becker guilty

ALLISON (KWWL) -- After 7 days of testimony and more than 25 hours of deliberation, a Butler County has found Mark Becker guilty of 1st degree murder. Becker is accused of shooting Aplington-Parkersburg football coach and teacher Ed Thomas.

Both sides agreed that Becker was the man that walked into the weight room in Parkersburg on June 24, 2009 and shot Thomas.

The defense argued that Becker was innocent due to insanity at the time of the crime. They say he had delusions the night before the murder and believed that Thomas was Satan. Expert witnesses testified for the defense that Becker was not aware of the nature of his actions and outlined a history of mental illness.

The prosecution argued that Becker may have suffered from a mental illness, but say he was not insane at the time of the shooting. They say he stole the .22 caliber gun from his parents' gun cabinet and even practiced shooting the gun on a birdhouse.

The prosecution went on to say that as Becker was looking for Thomas the morning of the shooting, he told people he wanted to talk to Thomas about the Tornado Relief Fund.

A number of students who were in the weight room the morning of the shooting testified that Becker continued to pull the trigger after the gun was empty and then walked over to Thomas as he was laying on the floor and kicked him and cursed at him.

The 12 jurors and four alternates were selected from a pool of more than 200 people. There was some question as to whether or not an impartial jury could be found.

Becker is also accused of vandalizing a home, threatening a Cedar Falls man, and leading police on a chase ending in Butler County just days before Thomas was killed. A trial on those charges is set to begin on April 6.

Continue watching and the later newscasts for reaction from those involved in the case.

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