KIMBALL, Nebraska — A Wyoming man has been convicted, for a second time, of killing his former roommate in Nebraska.
Vencil Ash III, 43, was found guilty earlier this week of murdering Ryan Guitron, of Fort Collins, Colorado, in 2003, according to online court records. Ash faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole when sentenced on March 24.
Ash was first convicted in July 2012, but the Nebraska Supreme Court ordered a new trial in October 2013. The high court said the trial judge erred in denying Ash's request to postpone the trial, saying Ash wasn't given fair notice of the prosecutor's deal with his wife.
Authorities believe Ash took Guitron to an abandoned farm, shot him and buried him in a woodpile. Ash's wife, Kelly Meehan-Ash, was initially charged with aiding and abetting first-degree murder. Investigators have said the three had been smoking methamphetamine before Guitron was shot.
But just days Ash's trial was to begin, Meehan-Ash cut a deal with prosecutors in which she agreed to testify against her husband for a reduced charge of being an accessory to the crime. The trial judge denied a motion from Ash's attorney for more time to prepare for Meehan-Ash's testimony, saying it would be too difficult for the court to inform those already summoned for jury duty.
Ash, originally from Cheyenne, Wyoming, will be sentenced in Kimball County District Court.
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