SC man gets life for killing fishing preacher

BARNWELL, S.C. - A Williston man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for killing a 51-year-old Springfield minister as he fished along the banks of the Edisto River.

The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg reports a jury deliberated about an hour Thursday before finding 32-year-old William Owens guilty of murder.

Prosecutors say Owens shot the Rev. Phillip McCreary Sr. in the back of the head as he was on his knees near the state Highway 39 bridge in July 2007.

Owens' former girlfriend testified he bragged about blowing a man's head off. Some of McCreary's jewelry was found in Owens' home, but no DNA evidence linked Owens to the killing.

Circuit Judge Jack Early called it the most senseless killing he has ever seen.



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