ALTON, Illinois(KMOV) -- An Alton man accused of strangling and hitting his friend with a bird bath was found guilty of murder in court on Thursday.
Ray Terrance Slack was charged last March with the killing of 77-year-old Robert Garrett, a long-time friend, after an argument about money. Later, police say Ray Slack and brother Herbert Slack returned to the victim's home on Carl Street intending to rob him.
The Madison County jury deliberated for about four hours before finding Ray Slack guilty of murder, as well as armed robbery. Herbert Slack's case is still pending, but he faces lesser charges for attempted residential burglary and failure to register as a sex offender.
Defense attorney Tony Muhlenkamp argued the defendant acted in self-defense because Garrett was known to carry a knife and gun.
Ray Slack will remain in custody at the Madison County Jail until his sentencing. The maximum penalty for murder is 20 to 60 years in prison.
Thomas Gibbons, Madison County state's attorney, said he was pleased with the jury's decision.
“Mr. Garrett’s violent death was senseless," Gibbons said. "He didn’t deserve to die in his back yard at the hands of someone he thought he could trust."