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Man convicted in slaying during robbery, faces life term

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) — A man has been convicted of first-degree murder in a northeastern Pennsylvania slaying during a robbery two years ago that prosecutors allege was plotted in collaboration with a teenage girlfriend. Jurors in Luzerne County deliberated for less than two hours Wednesday before convicting 33-year-old Reynaldo Mercado in the September 2018 killing of 58-year-old Fred Boote in the victim’s Wilkes-Barre home. Mercado faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole. The defense contended that Mercado acted in defense of the girl, believing she was in danger of sexual assault, but the now-16-year-old girl testified that the two made up that story.

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