A Maryland man was convicted a second time of capital murder yesterday in the 2001 slaying of a Prince William County couple in what prosecutors said was an attempt to impress a woman he met over the Internet.
Jurors deliberated for about four hours before coming back with the verdict, finding Larry "Bill" Elliott, 53, of Hanover, guilty of one count of capital murder for the slaying of Dana Thrall and one count of first-degree murder for the killing of Robert Finch.
Finch, 30, and Thrall, 25, were shot several times in their Woodbridge townhouse. Prosecutors argued that Elliott was obsessed with Finch's ex-girlfriend and that Elliott killed him as a way to win her over. Thrall, who was living with Finch, walked in on his slaying and was then beaten and killed.
It was the second trial against Elliott for the same crimes, because a Prince William County judge overturned last summer's guilty verdicts following allegations of juror misconduct. That jury recommended the death penalty for Elliott. The second jury will hear evidence in a sentencing hearing scheduled for this morning.
Defense attorneys argued that Elliott had nothing to do with the slayings, saying that the woman he met online lied to police and framed him.