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Jan 21, 2011 11:18 PM by Greg Boyce, Nicole Vandeputte

Paul Stark found guilty of murder

Paul Stark has been found guilty on five counts including 1st degree murder. He was immediately sentenced to life in prison.

Stark was on trial for the rape and murder of 14 year old Ashley Patterson. Her body was discovered near Stark's home in Pueblo West in March of 2009.

Stark showed little emotion when the verdict was read this evening. Ashley's mother left the courtroom visibly upset. She says, "I'm just very happy with the verdict and my daughter finally got justice. So, that's all I really have to say."

She's been waiting almost 2 years for justice. Ashley's body was found in a field in Pueblo West. Pueblo County Sheriff's deputies say tire tracks from her body led to Stark's home. The defense argued that Stark was too old and frail to kill Ashley. He's now on oxygen and has diabetes.

The trial lasted for three weeks, and the jurors deliberated for about 6 and a half hours. Deputy District Attorney Steve Cornetta prosecuted the case. He says, "We submitted over 300 pieces of evidence to them. It was a serious decision; a thoughtful decision. They took the time they needed to look over evidence and come to the right decision."

Stark didn't say anything after the verdict was read. The judge did say, "This has been a horrible situation, and I'm hoping at some time in the future the family of the victim can find some solace." To Paul Stark he said, "I hope your family can find understanding."

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