Jury convicts VA man of capital murder

March 11, 2008 10:47:30 AM PDT
A jury on Tuesday convicted a jail inmate of capital murder for killing a hospital security guard and a sheriff's deputy during an escape from custody. Jurors deliberated for about 3 1/2 hours before finding William Morva guilty of the August 2006 slayings in Montgomery County.

Jurors will hear more testimony before deciding whether to sentence Morva, 26, to death or to life in prison without parole. Those are the only two sentencing options in capital murder cases in Virginia.

Morva was convicted of overpowering a sheriff's deputy at a hospital in Blacksburg and then using the deputy's pistol to kill security guard Derrick McFarland. He also was found guilty of killing sheriff's Cpl. Eric Sutphin one day later near the Virginia Tech campus.

During the manhunt for Morva, Virginia Tech canceled classes on the first day of its fall 2006 semester.

Jurors heard three days of testimony in the trial, which was moved to Washington County from Montgomery County because of difficulty seating a jury.

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