Man found guilty in girlfriend’s beating death

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A western Michigan man has been found guilty of killing his girlfriend, whose death was staged as a fatal car crash. A Kent County jury on Friday convicted 46-year-old Donald Spice of first-degree murder and mutilation of a dead body for the November death of Lori Vargas. Her body was found in a burning car along Interstate 96 near Grand Rapids.

An autopsy determined that the 37-year-old Vargas was struck with a blunt object and died of head trauma.

Spice says he struck Vargas with a hammer after she came at him with a knife.

Sentencing is expected in July.

Spice spent 15 years in prison for breaking and entering.

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