Homicide

Louisiana jury convicts man of murder in 1962 death of wife

A Louisiana jury has found a man guilty of murder in the 1962 death of his first wife, who he had claimed accidentally drowned.

KPLC-TV (http://bit.ly/2aNSy4Y ) reports jurors deliberated less than an hour Friday before returning their verdict in the case of 76-year-old Felix Vail. Conviction carries a mandatory life sentence.

Vail had pleaded innocent in the death of Mary Horton Vail. Defense lawyers said the then-22-year-old woman fell from Vail's boat and Vail tried unsuccessfully to save her from drowning.

Calcasieu Parish coroner Dr. Terry Welke reopened the investigation after The Clarion-Ledger newspaper published a five-part series in 2012 about Felix Vail, his first wife's death and the disappearances in 1973 of the man's girlfriend and of his second wife in 1984.

Vail's sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 26.

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Information from: KPLC-TV, http://kplctv.com