Jury: Preacher guilty of murdering elderly rancher | TheUnion.com

Jury: Preacher guilty of murdering elderly rancher

MODESTO — A jury has convicted a Central Valley preacher of murdering an 85-year-old rancher to cover up his embezzlement of more than $1 million from the victim.

Jurors in Stanislaus County Superior Court also found 57-year-old Howard Douglas Porter guilty of attempted murder, embezzlement and elder abuse Monday afternoon.

Prosecutors say 57-year-old Porter drove Frank Craig’s pickup truck into an irrigation ditch, drowning him in April 2004.

The Hickman preacher faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, which will be decided during at his sentencing on Sept. 2.

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