Dardanelle man convicted of killing his mother

CLARKSVILLE, Ark. (AP) - A Johnson County jury has convicted a Dardanelle man of first-degree murder in the beating death of his mother.

The Southwest Times reports ( that the jury deliberated about 30 minutes Wednesday before convicting 49-year-old Tommy Bowden of beating 71-year-old Julie Richardson to death with a shovel in January.

The jury is to return Thursday for the sentencing phase. Bowden faces either 10 to 40 years or life in prison.

Bowden told police in a taped interview that was played for the jury that his mother was "evil" and had tried to poison him and his step-father.

Public defender Michael Robbins did not argue that Bowden was not guilty - but said the defense will use the sentencing phase to "peel back the layers" of Bowden's actions.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.