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Columbia caretaker guilty of arranging murder-for-hire

Crime scene

A caretaker has been convicted of arranging the killing of a Columbia art dealer after forging the victim's will in an effort to inherit his fortune. 

The Columbia Missourian reports that a Boone County jury found 25-year-old James Thompson guilty Friday of first-degree murder in the April 2013 shooting death of Brian Daniels. The 46-year-old Daniels had won a nearly $5 million settlement after he was badly injured in a 2005 apartment fire.

Prosecutors said Thompson paid an Oklahoma man $10,000 to kill Daniels. Thompson also was accused of tampering with the alarm system at Daniels' home and planning arrangements to flee the country.

Thompson maintained during the trial that he was Daniels' caretaker and lover. Sentencing is scheduled for March 2nd.

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