PORT HURON (WWJ/AP) – A St. Clair County jury has found a 19-year-old man guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder in the slaying of a Yale man and stabbing of his wife in their home.

James Preston’s verdict was reached Friday and faces life in prison when he’s sentenced Sept. 9.

Preston is the second person sentenced in the November knife attack on Paul and Mara Skinner. Last month, 19-year-old Jonathan Kurtz was convicted of murder in the stabbings 85 miles northeast of Detroit. Kurtz will be sentenced with Preston.

During testimony, Mara Skinner described how she and her husband were resting comfortably the night of November 12, 2010, when they were awakened by the horrific attack.  Paul Skinner left a trail of blood in his wake as chased the masked assailants from the home before he collapsed and died.

The Skinner’s 18-year-old daughter, Tia, is to stand trial Aug. 9. Prosecutors said she was angry at her parents for forbidding her from seeing Kurtz, and for grounding her and confiscating her cell phone.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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