By Eddie West
A man found guilty of first degree murder in the 2019 death of a South Carthage resident was in court Friday.
A Smith County jury found Kenneth S. McDonald, a 49 year old White House resident, guilty of first degree murder in the death of Jason Taylor Neusse in April of this year.
Neusse, 43, was discovered beaten to death inside a former tobacco warehouse located on Hunter Avenue beside Rackley Roofing in April of 2019.
During the murder trial, McDonald was also found guilty of aggravated burglary.
McDonald was in court for sentencing on the aggravated burglary conviction.
During Friday’s proceedings, Fifteenth Judicial District Judge Brody Kane noted the first degree murder conviction automatically carried a sentence of life with parole.
Also, Friday, Judge Kane said, based on evidence presented during the trial, McDonald was the “leader” in the offense. There were four other co-defendants in the case—all of which had entered guilty pleas on various charges before McDonald’s April trial.
Also, the judge noted it was an “exceptionally cruel” offense. The victim’s face was completely duct taped, hands tied behind his back and his feet were bound. The victim was also severely beaten.
The minimum sentence on the aggravated burglary charge was three years and the maximum was six years.
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