A jury has convicted a Layton man of second-degree murder and theft in the slaying last year of an Ogden man.
The 1st District jury convicted John F. Pendergrass, 20, characterized by his attorney as a gentle individual, after more than eight hours of deliberation Tuesday.Box Elder County Attorney Jon Bunderson had sought a first-degree murder verdict in the death of Ray Jenkins, 22, in May 1987.
Jenkins' decomposed body was found in a sleeping bag in a shallow grave in August 1987 near Willard Bay. He had been shot twice in the head. Pendergrass was arrested in California that month on Utah forgery charges.
He was extradited to Utah and questioned about Jenkins' disappearance. The victim had gone camping May 27 with Pendergrass.
The defendant led deputy sheriffs to Jenkins' body several days after returning to Utah.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 7 before Judge Gordon Low. The second-degree murder conviction carries a possible five-years-to-life prison sentence, with extra penalties because a firearm was used in the crime. The theft conviction carries a one to 15 year sentence.
The defendant is being held without bail in Box Elder County Jail.