Convicted Murderer Found Guilty Of Killing 2 More People

CLEVELAND (AP) - A man already serving 23 years to life for murder was convicted in the shooting deaths of two more people he killed in the same week.

A jury found Maurice Freeman, 24, guilty of two counts of murder Wednesday, acquitting him of aggravated murder charges, which could have resulted in the death penalty.

Freeman killed Kenneth Johnson, 21, and Starr Hudson, 18, outside a convenience store on July 23. Two days earlier he shot and killed Alfonso Amos, 29, several blocks away.

Before he died, Amos identified Freeman as the gunman, police said.

The verdict took the jury four days to reach. Johnson's family wanted Freeman to receive the death penalty.

Johnson's mother, Deborah, said Freeman did irreparable damage to her family and deprived her grandchildren, ages 3 and 2, of their father.

"He destroyed our whole world," she said. "That was my baby. And he was a father. His children say, 'Grandma, my daddy is still sleeping in the ground.'"

Jury forewoman Ericka Butler said the evidence didn't show that Freeman killed with a plan, which was required to prove aggravated murder.

Freeman showed no emotion after the verdict.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Brian Corrigan will sentence Freeman on May 9.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)