Killer convicted in decades-old murder of Eldon teenager

10 months 1 week 4 days ago Thursday, October 11 2018 Oct 11, 2018 Thursday, October 11, 2018 12:37:00 PM CDT October 11, 2018 in News
By: Kara Strickland, KOMU 8 Reporter
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LEBANON - A jury Thursday found Martin Priest guilty of first-degree murder in the 1984 death of 15-year-old Tammy Sue Rothganger of Eldon.

A witness, who was 13 at the time, said he was there when Priest hit Rothganger in the head with a wrench until she lost consciousness, then raped her and strangled her to death.

Prosecutors charged Priest with the murder while he was in a Kansas prison serving a life sentence for a separate killing. 

In the Rothganger death, Priest is charged capital murder, meaning he could be sentenced to death.

The trial was held in Laclede County after a change of venue.

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