Jury convicts man in fatal Pennsylvania hammer attack

The Associated Press

NORRISTOWN, Pa. – A jury is rejecting a man’s self-defense claim and convicting him of killing another man by repeatedly striking him in the head with a hammer.

The Pottstown Mercury says 35-year-old Michael Raymond Bell was found guilty Monday of first-degree murder and other charges for the September 2017 death of Leroy McCray in suburban Philadelphia.

Prosecutors say Bell hit the victim with eight “bone shattering” blows while McCray slept on a couch in Bell’s Norristown apartment.

They’ve alleged Bell then took McCray’s drugs and money, but jurors acquitted Bell of robbery and theft.

Bell testified McCray hadn’t been sleeping, but was attacking him.

Court records say police found a bag containing a hammer and some of McCray’s belongings near Bell’s apartment.

A message left for Bell’s defense attorney wasn’t immediately returned.