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Man convicted of murder in 2011 shooting death

on August 19, 2013 10:30 AM

GREENSBURG (AP) — A man has been convicted of first-degree murder in a shooting death in the parking lot of a strip mall almost two years ago.

Some jurors cried as the verdict was announced early Saturday in the case against Raymond Rivera, 37, of Arnold, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported.

Rivera testified during the Westmoreland County trial that he shot John Evans, 37, of New Kensington, in self-defense in October 2011.

“I really didn’t want to do it. I was forced to,” Rivera said. “I see him pull the gun out, and he turns around and comes at me with a gun pointed towards me, so I just pulled the trigger.”

Jurors deliberated for about 6 1/2 hours, and also convicted Rivera of attempted murder of a friend of the victim as well as aggravated assault and illegal possession of a firearm.

Assistant District Attorney Larry Koenig called the slaying “without a doubt a textbook case of deliberate, intentional murder.”

Rivera, a former professional boxer who worked as a barber, worked in a shop across the street from the clothing store where Evans worked.

Defense attorneys said they had been feuding for months, and Rivera feared Evans and his friends.

Officials said Evans had said he was having an affair with Rivera’s girlfriend, but she denied that and testified that Evans had a gun and threatened to kill her and the defendant.

The defendant faces a mandatory life term without possibility of parole.

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