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Jury convicts Ill. man of beating woman to death with a tire-iron

#1104541: Police CRIME SCENE tape, partial graphic AP Graphics

(CBS/AP) BELLVILLE, Ill. - Santoin Russell, an Illinois man accused of fatally eating a woman with a tire-iron, was found guilty by a jury on Wednesday, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

Russell, 27, was convicted of the first-degree murder of Karinina Polk, 29, a Bellville native.

Her body was found in a Fairmont City motel on Feb. 3, 2008. She had been bludgeoned to death with a tire iron, that the killer then jammed down her throat, according to authorities.

Prosecutors say that Russell's gold ring with "Jesus" on it was recovered where the beating occurred.

According to the News-Democrat, the prosecutors said that Russell had driven around his friends, Terryon Triplett and Kendra Merideth, talking about how someone owed him $1,000 for drugs.

Merideth, 27, is accused of holding down the victim's legs during the beating, and is being held on charges of first-degree murder, according to the News-Democrat.

Triplett, 24, pleaded guilty in the case and received 20 years in prison.

According to the News-Democrat, he is also accused of strangling a man in September 2008.

The judge did not immediately set a sentencing date for Russell.

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