Man gets life in Athens toilet-lid slaying

ATHENS, Ga.   — A 41-year-old man will serve the rest of his life in prison for using a toilet tank lid to kill an Athens man.

Western Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Lawton Stephens on Monday sentenced William Thomas Valentine Jr. to life in prison without parole for the Oct. 10 murder and a kidnapping.

It took a Clarke County jury less than two hours to find Valentine guilty of malice and felony murder, aggravated battery, aggravated assault and kidnapping in the killing of Alfred Lorenzo Harris.

Prosecutors said Harris was lying on a couch when Valentine bludgeoned him with the ceramic lid of a toilet. They said Valentine then kidnapped a woman from the apartment.

Defense attorney Ryan Swingle attacked the credibility of the woman who said Valentine kidnapped and assaulted her.

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