Jury convicts man in cold case slaying

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Nashville jury has convicted a 61-year-old man for the decades-old death of an elderly woman found strangled in her home.

The jury on Friday convicted Freddie Lee Johnson of felony murder, which carries a sentence of life in prison. Ethel Hethcote was killed in her Hermitage home in 1979. The woman's daughter discovered her 72-year-old mother's lifeless body in a bathtub. The prosecutor's office said money and one of Hethcote's rings were missing.

The Davidson County district attorney general's office said Johnson had worked in Hethcote's home installing insulation prior to the woman's death. The Nashville police Cold Case Unit opened up the case to give it a new look and matched a fingerprint at the scene to Johnson.


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