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Long Beach Man Convicted of Killing Neighbor

It took the jury a day to find Mark Stephen Thurwachter guilty of first-degree murder.

Mark Stephen Thurwachter was convicted today of shooting his neighbor in Long Beach. Patch file photo.
Mark Stephen Thurwachter was convicted today of shooting his neighbor in Long Beach. Patch file photo.

A 58-year-old man was convicted today of first-degree murder for fatally shooting a neighbor in Long Beach.

The Long Beach Superior Court jury deliberated about a day before finding Mark Stephen Thurwachter guilty in the Feb. 1, 2012, killing of Marvin Williams, 60.

Thurwachter and Williams were neighbors at Arbor Mobile Village. They were initially friendly with each other, but Thurwachter came to believe that Williams had stolen money from him, according to Deputy District Attorney Patrick O'Crowley.

Residents in the mobile home community heard a shot and found Williams fatally wounded in front of his residence. Thurwachter never returned to his home, the prosecutor said.

A warrant was issued for Thurwachter's arrest five days after the shooting. He was taken into custody the following month in Cleveland during a fare evasion investigation conducted by the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority and was subsequently returned to Los Angeles County for trial.

A Long Beach Police Department crime lab expert testified that forensic evidence linked a shell casing found at the murder scene to ammunition in Thurwachter's vehicle.

At the beginning of the trial, Thurwachter pleaded no contest to a separate charge of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Thurwachter is facing up to 50 years and eight months to life in state prison, with sentencing scheduled Feb. 26 before Judge James B. Pierce, according to the District Attorney's Office.

--City News Service

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