Man sentenced to life in prison in friend's death

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Associated Press

Posted on April 10, 2012 at 1:01 PM

SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) — A man has been sentenced to life in prison in the shooting death of his friend in the Central Texas town of Buda in 2010.

A Hays County jury returned the sentence Monday for 54-year-old Mark Simmons after finding him guilty of murder, arson and tampering with evidence in the death of Steven Woelfel, whose body was found in his burning home.

The Austin American-Statesman (http://bit.ly/ItKtgf ) reports Simmons, who represented himself, said he plans to appeal his conviction.

Simmons claims that the government had been harassing him with low-flying planes buzzing over his head day after day, putting him on edge. So when Woelfel produced a pistol while packing, he panicked and accidentally shot him.

Prosecutors say Simmons is an ordinary criminal who robbed and killed his friend for money.

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Information from: Austin American-Statesman, http://www.statesman.com

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