Man convicted of murder in death of Lonnie Houston - WNEM TV 5

Man convicted of murder in death of Lonnie Houston

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Lonnie Houston Lonnie Houston
Stephen Ashley Jr., Kaleb Rosin and Brett Vaughn. Stephen Ashley Jr., Kaleb Rosin and Brett Vaughn.

WNEM TV5 has learned Stephen Ashley Jr. has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of Lonnie Houston.

The trial lasted only a week and jurors reached the verdict after deliberating for about two hours.

Twenty-one-year-old Ashley Jr. has been jailed since police arrested him on Nov. 16, 2011,  and charging him with killing Houston, a father of five.

Prosecutors said Ashley torched Houston's body inside a car along the Saginaw River in Zilwaukee Township. Houston's badly burned body was found in the back seat of a Cadillac along the banks of the Saginaw River. 

An autopsy showed Houston, 27, had been shot twice in the head before being dumped in the Cadillac's back seat.

The flames were so intense crews were forced to use a "fire fighting foam" to put it out.

Originally the case was handled by the Saginaw County Sheriff's Department, but the case was transferred to the Bay County Sheriff's Department when it was discovered Houston had been shot and killed in Bay County's Hampton Township.

When he is sentenced, Ashley Jr. will spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility of parole.

Two other men charged in the shooting death are Kaleb Rosin and Brett Vaughn.  Rosin and Vaughn are scheduled to face trial February 12.

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