Illinois jury finds Texas man guilty in death of grandmother

ST. CHARLES, Ill. (AP) – A jury in suburban Chicago has found a Texas man guilty of first-degree murder in a plot that involved driving across the country to kill his grandmother in order to inherit half her estate.

The jury in Kane County returned its verdict Tuesday against 44-year-old Richard Schmelzer, who lives in the Dallas suburb of Frisco.

Prosecutors during his trial said Schmelzer lived an extravagant lifestyle that left him behind on his mortgage and deeply in debt.

They argued Schmelzer in July 2014 drove hundreds of miles to East Dundee, Illinois, to stab 85-year-old Mildred “Dodie” Darrington in her bed.

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Schmelzer, the married father of four children, stood to inherit at least $300,000 upon her death.

He faces up to 60 years in prison when he’s sentenced next month.