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Guilty verdict in murder trial

By Eddie West

Staff Writer

A Smith County jury has found a man guilty of first degree murder in the 2019 death of a South Carthage resident.

The case involved the April 2019 death of Jason Taylor Neusse, 43, who was discovered beaten to death inside a former tobacco warehouse located on Hunter Avenue beside Rackley Roofing. 

Kenneth S. McDonald, who was 46 at the time of the death and a resident of White House, was found “guilty of first degree murder for a death which occurred during the commission of felony”. McDonald was also found guilty of aggravated burglary.

The verdict was rendered Saturday afternoon, following a week long trial which began on Monday of last week.

Fifteenth Judicial District Criminal Court Judge Brody Kane presided over the trial. Judge Kane set a sentencing date for McDonald of August 11.

The six-day trial began on Monday afternoon with jury selection and opening statements from the prosecution and the defense.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Justin Harris and Assistant District Attorney Jack Bare.

McDonald was represented by Lebanon Attorney Frank Lannom.

The prosecution began presenting witnesses in the case Tuesday morning. 

MORE COVERAGE OF THE TRIAL IS INCLUDED IN THIS WEEK’S COURIER

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