CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) - A Tampa Bay area man has been convicted of killing his girlfriend and burying her body in his backyard.
A Pinellas County jury took less than an hour Tuesday to find 37-year-old William Routenberg guilty of second-degree murder. He faces a possible life sentence.
Detectives received information in the summer of 2011 that a homicide had occurred in an unincorporated area near Clearwater. During a search of Routenberg's home, deputies found the body of 24-year-old Shanessa Lynn Chappie. Authorities say Routenberg confessed to killing the woman during an argument. Chappie was living with Routenberg at the time of her death.
Routenberg - a convicted sex offender - defended himself in court. He told jurors that he was acting in self-defense when he stabbed Chappie in the throat.