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90-year-old man convicted of murder

William Welsh, 90, was convicted of fatally shooting 58-year-old William Menni at a Homestead, Pa. construction site in July 2013. CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH - A 90-year-old funeral director who shot and killed a man during an argument has been found guilty of third-degree murder, reports CBS Pittsburgh.

William Welsh was convicted on Friday of twice shooting 58-year-old William Menni in the neck last July at a Homestead, Pa., construction site. The site in Allegheny County was located right next to Welsh's funeral home, and the station reports that he and the victim had a longstanding feud. Officials said an argument over payment for demolition work Menni did for Welsh is what lead to the fatal incident.

The station reports that Welsh entered the Allegheny County Courthouse on Friday pushed in a wheelchair by family members. He had been on house arrest during his trial. The defendant and his family had testified that they were harassed and constantly threatened by Menni, but Judge Tom Flaherty found malice and no self-defense justification in the shooting.

According to CBS Pittsburgh, Welsh needed headphones and a transcript of the court proceedings so that he could follow along. His attorney, Frank Walker, told reporters that the elderly man has various medical issues, including loss of hearing, arthritis, liver disease and mobility issues. These ailments could prove difficult when it comes time to place Welsh in a prison facility.

"He was understanding [of the verdict]; he was positive, but again, I don't know if it's sunk in yet," Walker told the station. "I don't know if it will sink in until you hear the words of the sentence - that you're now committed to this facility for so many years."

Despite his advanced age, Welsh could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison when he is back in court on June 5.

"There are no winners here," said Walker. "On one side, you have someone who's passed away, and on the other side you have someone who is facing the penalty for the rest of their life, so there's no winners in homicide cases."

  • Crimesider Staff

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