Springfield man found guilty of killing classmate

Springfield man found guilty of killing classmate

Springfield man found guilty of killing classmate

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Associated Press

Posted on December 2, 2012 at 9:02 AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- A teenage "hit man" has been ordered to spend the rest of his life in prison for shooting one of his southwest Missouri classmates to death.

James Duke isn't eligible for parole under the sentence a Greene County judge imposed Friday.

In 2010, 17-year-old Kody Ray was shot to death on his porch while a 5-year-old's birthday party was being held at his home. Duke was 18 at the time and claimed he thought Ray had a gun.

But prosecutors said Duke killed Ray before he could testify against another man, Jordan Martin.  Martin is also charged with first-degree murder.

Court documents filed in the case said Martin perceived Ray as a "snitch."

The Springfield News-Leader reported that a pre-trial conference for Martin is scheduled for Jan. 2.

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