PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A jury has found a Rhode Island man guilty of beating a junk car dealer to death with a two-by-four over a deal gone wrong.
The Providence County Superior Court jury on Thursday found 50-year-old Daniel Lastarza guilty of second-degree murder after seven hours of deliberation that followed a six-day trial.
Prosecutors say the July 2014 altercation that led to the death of 34-year-old Jonathan Stack started as an argument over a bogus sale at Stack's North Providence car dealership that involved Lastarza and another man.
Prosecutors say Stack and his employee confronted Lastarza's friend at a bar. They say the altercation moved outside and Lastarza struck Stack and his employee with a two-by-four.
Lastarza and his lawyer maintain that Lastarza was trying to save his friend's life.