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Neighbor convicted in rural slaying

LOGANSPORT, Ind. – A jury has convicted a 78-year-old man of killing his 76-year-old neighbor in 2011 after what authorities say was an ongoing dispute about drainage problems at their northern Indiana properties.

The Cass County jury deliberated about four hours Thursday before reaching a guilty verdict, the Pharos-Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/OpIrYw ).

Loren Fry was charged with murder in the September 2011 death of Dave Schroder, who was found shot twice inside his vehicle partially off the road near his home in a rural area near Logansport.

Defense lawyer Matthew Barrett argued that prosecutors only had a circumstantial case against Fry and no evidence linking the bullets that killed Schroder to Fry’s guns.

Barrett asked jurors in his closing arguments to consider whether any of them had been falsely accused.

“That is what happened here,” he said.

Schroder’s son testified during the four-day trial that his father told him the day he was shot that he’d received a letter from an attorney about the drainage dispute with Fry.

Cass County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Swaim told jurors that the case was about two men who didn’t get along.

“When you look at the evidence, there is nobody else,” she said.

Fry faces a prison term of 45 years to 65 years on the murder conviction. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 14.

His lawyer said he expects to appeal the conviction.

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