Tire-Iron Killer Convicted

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BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A jury in southwestern Illinois has convicted a 27-year-old man in the 2008 tire-iron beating death of a woman in a motel.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports the St. Clair County jury found Santoin Russell guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder. The judge didn’t immediately set a sentencing date.

Russell was one of three people accused in the death of 29-year-old Karinina Polk, whose body was found in a Fairmont City motel. Authorities say the tire iron used to bludgeon her was then jammed down her throat.

A prosecutor says the victim owed Russell $1,000 for drugs.

Another defendant, Kendra Merideth, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. Authorities contend she held Polk’s legs during the attack.

Terryon Triplett has pleaded guilty in the case and is serving a 20-year sentence.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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